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New COVID-19 Cases & Hospitalizations Dropping In Roanoke, Southwest Virginia

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Roanoke area continued to trend down over the past week. And the number of hospitalizations is also lower this week.

The Roanoke City-Alleghany Health District reported 932 new cases over the past week. That's down from 1130 the week before and 1172 two weeks earlier. The district covers Roanoke, Botetourt, Craig and Alleghany counties as well as the cities of Roanoke and Salem.

The number of district residents hospitalized for complications related to COVID-19 has also started to fall. Ninety-eight district residents were hospitalized as of Monday, compared to 103 the Monday before and 93 two weeks earlier.

A news release from the health district reports the overwhelming majority of the hospitalized patients are unvaccinated. The delta varient-fueled surge continues to impact younger people, as well. Officials say about half of the new cases in the past week are under the age of 35.

The Roanoke City-Alleghany Health District also reported five additional deaths over the past week, bringing its total to 552.

In the southwest corner of Virginia and northeast Tennessee, the number of hospitalizations has also been trending down. The main health care provider in that region, Ballad Health, reported 288 hospitalized COVID-19 patients Tuesday. It's the second straight day that number has been below 300. And it's well below Ballad's record of 413 a few weeks earlier. The testing positivity rate in Ballad's 21 county service area is still hear 20%, though.

David Seidel is Radio IQ's News Director.