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As COVID-19 Cases Trend Down In Roanoke Area, Health Department Prepares To Vaccinate Kids

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Ted S. Warren
/
AP Photo

The number of new COVID-19 infections in the Roanoke area continues to trend down.

There were 550 new cases in the past week, down from 738 the week before. "While we are still in high transmission for all of our jurisdictions, at this point the case count is going down. So that’s really good news," Dr. Cynthia Morrow told reporters during a Tuesday news conference. Morrow is director of the Roanoke City-Alleghany Health District.

The number of district residents hospitalized for complications related to COVID-19 is also down, dropping from 89 to 59 over the past week.

The number of deaths related to COVID-19 has remained high, though. The district, which includes the Roanoke Valley and parts of the Alleghany Highlands, added 14 deaths over the past week, bringing the total to 604. "That’s not surprising that we’re still seeing deaths associated to COVID-19," Morrow said Tuesday. "As we know deaths tend to lag behind our peaks.”

Morrow encouraged people who are eligible for a booster dose of vaccine to get the shot at the community vaccination center at Valley View Mall in Roanoke. Morrow said the site is running smoothly with little waiting. She also encouraged anyone who has not been vaccinated to get the shots.

As federal regulators move closer to approving COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11, Morrow said the district is making plans for deployment. She said the supply of child doses will be limited for the first few weeks after approval. The health district will designate the majority of its supply for use at the community vaccination center. “I think we’re all on the same page that while we’re there’s limited vaccine we want to ensure that it’s publicly accessible to anybody is a priority," Morrow said. The community vaccination center is accessible to a large portion of the district's population and is served by public transit, she noted.

David Seidel is proud to lead the journalists at Radio IQ and WVTF as news director. David joined the newsroom in May 2017 and brings more than 20 years of experience in broadcast journalism in Virginia. Prior to joining Radio IQ David was an assistant news director, assignment manager and producer at WDBJ Television in Roanoke. He also worked as a reporter for WHSV Television in Harrisonburg. David graduated from Washington and Lee University in Lexington with degrees in journalism and history.