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Areas in Richmond region enter high COVID-19 community levels under CDC data tracker – WWBT

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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – As COVID-19 cases continue to climb across Central Virginia, health leaders are recommending indoor masking for areas experiencing high COVID-19 community levels, including the Richmond area.
According to COVID data tracker from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, Hanover, New Kent, and Goochland fall under high COVID-19 community levels. Prince George, Powhatan, Amelia, and Louisa fall under medium levels, while Petersburg and Dinwiddie fall under low levels.
Health leaders say these levels are determined by looking at hospital beds used for COVID-19, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area.
Cat Long from the Richmond-Henrico Health Districts said Omicron and subvariants are why we see cases climb.
“It’s easier to spread from person to person, but it tends to have less severe illness,” Long said. “Even if it causes less severe illness, the fact that more people are able to get it because it’s more transmissible, it can still has some implications for high hospitalizations and hospital burden.”
For those who live, work or visit these high-level areas, health leaders recommend wearing a mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status. Long also recommends staying up to date with your vaccines, getting your boosters if eligible, and getting tested if you start to experience symptoms.
“We encourage folks to improve ventilation in indoor spaces,” Long said.
If you plan to travel to an area with a high COVID-19 community level for Memorial Day, Long recommends people do outdoor activities.
The high COVID-19 community levels come months after masking restrictions started to ease with low case counts.
Since the pandemic’s start in 2020, Philly Vegan in Richmond has kept its COVID-19 protocols in place, including indoor masking, to protect its employees and customers.
“This is a precautionary method that we can use to ensure that our staff, our community is as safe as possible,” he said.
With the rise in COVID-19 cases, Long also said the Richmond-Henrico Health Districts will increase availability for free COVID-19 PCR test events.
“We’re going to make sure we still have a lot of capacity, continue to monitor it, ramp it up if we need to,” she said.
Long also recommends keeping a supply of at-home COVID tests in their home just in case it’s needed. You can request free tests here or pick up a free COVID home test at the following Richmond Public Library locations: Broad Rock, East End, Ginter Park, Main Library, and North Avenue.
To learn more about COVID testing from the Richmond-Henrico Health Districts, click here.
Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.
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I am Zeba Anwer, a content writer who is still learning to make herself familiar with the world of technology. I am a writer by day and a reader by night who is still looking to make her footprint in the world of media.