Avula: Wedding outbreak contributed to uptick in COVID-19 cases

Posted at 4:47 PM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 18:52:40-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- After more than a month of decreasing trends and COVID-19 cases, the City of Richmond is now headed in the opposite direction.

Dr. Danny Avula, Director of the Richmond and Henrico Health Department, and city officials provided the update on COVID-19 during a Thursday afternoon press conference inside City Council Chambers.

Avula said the city is now up to 9.7 cases per 100,00 population.

"We have also had a continued decrease trend in percent positivity for 32 days. Now our percent positivity seven-day rolling average is 2.9%," said Avula.

He says two notable things contributed to the increase: A Richmond nursing home is experiencing an outbreak with more than 30 COVID-19 cases and the department is investigating an outbreak that that stemmed from a wedding.

"So residents from across the region, all congregated at this wedding and with multiple cases that we continue to work up out of that incident," said Avula.

Avula says the outbreak is a reminder to not let your guard down as much as you want to resume normal activities such as attending a wedding.

"Anytime people are around each other, the virus can spread. If you choose to go to events like this, do your homework, see how much of that can be pushed outside. See how safe you can be to ensure that people are wearing masks and maintaining distance," said Avula.

"And when you see that start to breakdown. When you see people start to get too comfortable and to embrace each other and get close to each other. Remind yourself that COVID is still out there."

Avula says the best way to know if you've come in contact with someone with COVID-19 is by downloading the COVIDWISE app.

Depend on CBS 6 News and for the most complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.