Richmond suburbs see higher COVID transmission levels than city

Posted at 6:51 AM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 06:51:10-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — Coronavirus cases are rising again as families prepare to travel during the Memorial Day weekend.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) classified Richmond’s suburbs — including Henrico, Chesterfield, Powhatan and Hanover — as medium community level transmission.

Richmond remains at low transmission levels, but Chtaura Jackson, a COVID epidemiologist with the Richmond Henrico Health District (RHHD), expects that may soon change for the worse.

The levels are based on case counts, hospitalization rates and hospital capacity.

Jackson said there is a more transmissible variant spreading right now, and families are admittedly burned out from COVID-19 mitigation strategies.

“Right now, anyone who lives works or even spends time in Henrico, since we're in the middle of medium area, we want you to stay up to date on your vaccines. Improve ventilation in indoor spaces, and then also make sure that you're following CDC recommendations like isolation and quarantine if you're sick or exposed. I would also recommend for those folks who live in Richmond or work in Richmond, also consider more mitigation preventions,” Jackson explained.

Jackson urged families who may be traveling to put mitigation strategies like mask-wearing at the top of your mind. Avoid or limit indoor events within 10 days of travel.

“If you're going to be around people in your family or in the community who you know might be immunocompromised, and you want to protect them, get tested before you see them,” Jackson stated. “That way you're not exposing them.”

RHHD will open more testing sites as the demand is expected to grow in the coming days and weeks.