Active COVID-19 Cases Down, Social and Travel-related Cases up in Roanoke Area

Aug 18, 2020

The number of active COVID-19 cases in the Roanoke region continues to drop, though a health official says people are still taking risks with their behavior.

There were 150 active cases in the Roanoke City-Alleghany Health District as of Tuesday morning.  That’s down from 161 a week before.  A case is considered active when a patient is still within the two-week isolation period.

Credit CDC

Doctor Molly O’Dell says people have learned to operate within the coronavirus-related restrictions in the workplace.  But most of the new cases are being contracted during other activities like parties and gatherings at restaurants and bars. "As we’ve talked about before, it’s during social times and people are abandoning social distancing and face covering use," O'Dell noted.

O’Dell says health officials are also seeing more cases related to air travel and trips to identified hot spots.

Moderate vs. Substantial Transmission

O'Dell also addressed questions about the level of COVID-19 transmission in Roanoke.  Last week, Roanoke City school officials said one of the factors that influenced their decision to move to more virtual learning was Roanoke's designation of "substantial transmission."

O'Dell said the district is categorized in the "moderate transmission" range as of Tuesday morning.  The designation is based on a seven-day moving average.  "So it will likely change weekly," O'Dell added. "Hopefully, we're headed in the right direction."