COVID-19 spread continues at high levels across Metro Richmond

Published: Jan. 8, 2023 at 5:57 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The COVID-19 virus is on the rise across the Greater Richmond region. Most counties in our area are hitting the highest level of community spread on the CDC’s COVID data tracker. Case numbers have risen to about 160 over the past week in the city alone.

“The reason why Richmond specifically is at a high level this week is because those hospitalization rates did go up. So yes, it is definitely is something we are concerned about,” explained Elaine Perry, who serves as the Director for the Richmond-Henrico Health District.

Despite the increase in spread, the Richmond-Henrico Health District says we don’t need to be too worried yet. Community spread is still at a lower rate than it was in years past.

“At this time last year, we were not using the CDC community levels. That was something that was instituted more over the summer, and so we we’re looking at things in slightly different ways, but trying to look back. Just overall, in terms of the cases and hospitalizations were not as high, the hospitalization is not as bad as it was this time last year,” Perry said.

But they warn things could get worse this winter.

“It’s too soon to tell if this winter is going to be like last winter and we hope not. One of the things that is very important to remember is that we have safe, effective vaccines for COVID-19, and we don’t have those for all respiratory viruses,” Perry stated.

The health department is urging people to do everything they can to cut down on the spreading of the virus. The CDC recommends everyone wear a mask when the community level of COVID-19 is high, among other preventative measures.

“One of the things that we can encourage people to do is if they’ve never gotten a COVID-19 vaccine, it’s never too late. Go ahead and start that series if you have already completed your primary series for COVID. As long as it’s been 2 months since your last shot, go ahead and get that bivalent booster,” said Perry.