Roanoke-area COVID-19 Cases Decline But Autumn Brings New Worries

Sep 15, 2020

Active cases of COVID-19 in the Roanoke region are lower again this week, according to health officials.  Wednesday marks six months since the first COVID-19 case was reported in the Roanoke City-Alleghany Health District.

Doctor Molly O’Dell, with the Roanoke City-Alleghany Health District, reported 99 active cases as of Tuesday morning.  That’s down from 161 last Tuesday.  A case is considered active when it's within the two-week isolation period.  No additional deaths were reported in the past week and there were seven hospitalizations Tuesday morning related to COVID-19.

Credit Virginia Department of Health

O’Dell says there’s still potential for a big threat this fall.  "Whether people choose to go inside for their socializing.  It has definitely been to our advantage for outdoor dining and activities as opposed to indoor," O'Dell explained in a weekly conference call with journalists.  "And then the second concern is influenza and how that’s going to complicate the assessment of symptoms."

O’Dell said there has been one additional outbreak at a long-term-care facility, though she did not disclose the location.  An ongoing outbreak at Raleigh Court Health and Rehab killed six residents and infected dozens of residents and staff, according to the facility.  O'Dell said staff at both facilities have been following required infection control practices.

Other outbreaks were reported at a restaurant, a worship facility, four businesses, one higher education setting and one congregate living setting. 

New River Valley Cases

Hospitals in the New River Health District report seven hospitalized COVID-19 patients as of Tuesday morning.  The district is averaging about 94 new cases per day over the last week, according to a fact sheet from the health district.    About 75% of those daily new cases are coming from Montgomery County.

Health officials report no hospitalizations of students from Radford University or Virginia Tech.  They also say they are not seeing "spillover transmission" from the university communities to the broader community.