Blue Ridge Health District Ups Testing
As classes resume at the University of Virginia, public health experts are warning that we could see more cases of COVID, even though students are required to be vaccinated.
The Delta variant of COVID-19 has infected people who were vaccinated, and while they’re less likely to end up in the hospital or to die, they can still spread the disease according to Blue Ridge Health District Medical Director Denise Bonds.
“We do know from other parts of the country that Delta is a little bit different than the previous variants that we saw," she explains. "Individuals who are vaccinated are infectious if they become infected with the Delta – that is they are going to spread virus particles.”
And District Incident Commander Ryan McKay adds that Charlottesville and the surrounding area are already dealing with a spike in COVID cases.
“We are definitely in the midst of a surge. Cases will continue to increase, especially as we continue to see more individuals – particularly those who are unvaccinated come into close contact with each other over the next several weeks.”
That’s why the district will be testing at more times and locations. Spokesperson Kathryn Goodman says residents can also turn to local pharmacies and the university.
“UVA is continuing to offer testing on Mondays and Tuesdays at their locations in Charlottesville. Our goal is to be able to provide testing to any individual who needs it, especially as schools are returning we realize that testing is an important piece of this pandemic response.”
People who have compromised immune systems are now able to get a booster shot if their first two inoculations were with Pfizer or Moderna, and school-age children could be approved for vaccination some time in September.