Northam concerned about COVID increase in Southwest Virginia

Posted at 2:50 PM, Nov 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-10 18:30:36-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has expressed concern about the upward trend of the virus in the Commonwealth.

During a Monday afternoon press conference, he pointed to increases in the number of cases, hospitalizations, and percent-positivity across the state.

That latter figure now at 6.2-percent, up from 4.7 back at the start of October.

Northam said there is an extra concern in Southwest Virginia where the percent-positivity is even higher and there are fewer hospitals to help those who get sick.

He said the state is starting a messaging campaign in that region to remind people about the need to social distance, wear masks, and wash hands. But he said it really goes for everyone in Virginia, especially as the holidays approach and the weather gets colder meaning more indoor gatherings.

"This virus spreads through the air and it spreads more easily indoors," Gov. Northam said. "You should take precautions around anyone who does not live in your own house. Yes, even if they are your family."

Northam also said Virginia has signed contracts with three labs that will increase the state’s daily testing numbers by around 7,000 a day.

He also called the news about a 90-percent effectiveness rate of a potential COVID vaccine from Pfizer, very encouraging and said the state is ready for the eventual rollout of a vaccine.