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Roanoke area on downward side of omicron-surge

Virginia Dept. of Health
A graph of new COVID-19 cases over the past 90 days in the Roanoke City-Alleghany Health District.

It appears that the Roanoke area is on the downward side of the omicron-surge.

The director of the Roanoke City-Alleghany Health District says data shows a declining number of cases over the past few weeks, as well as more recent declines in demand for testing and in the testing positivity rate. "Putting that all together, it really does look like we are over the worst, that we did peak two weeks ago as expected," Dr. Cynthia Morrow told reporters Tuesday. "And that we are looking at a relatively rapid decline in cases."

Morrow said while that is good news, the area is not out of the woods yet. All of the localities in the district are still considered to be in high transmission. And Morrow said it’s too early to start talking about rolling back prevention measures.

The district recorded 2,258 new cases over the past week, down from 3,315 the week before. Fifteen additional deaths were added, bringing the district's total to 775.

Morrow said hospitalizations have been holding relatively steady. As of Monday, 135 district residents were hospitalized for complications related to COVID-19. That number is down from 142 the Monday before.

While statewide hospitalization numbers have come down since mid-January, they're increasing in the southwest corner of the state and northeast Tennessee. Ballad Health, which operates hospitals in that area, reported a record high 450 COVID-positive patients Tuesday.

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.