COVID-19 cases on the rise in Virginia as new variants emerge

COVID testing
Posted at 4:48 PM, Sep 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-06 16:48:26-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- While the threat level remains low, the Virginia Department of Health reports a steady uptick in emergency room visits for COVID-19 over the past month.

The World Health Organization is also tracking new variants of COVID that are driving up case numbers across the country.

On Wednesday morning, the Richmond Henrico Health District hosted its busiest mobile COVID testing event in recent memory.

"This is the first day that I've run out of things, and the first day that I've had pretty significant lines," said Dylan Knight, the COVID testing coordinator for RHHD.

Knight single-handedly administered dozens of rapid COVID tests and distributed 200 at-home test kits with supplies such as N95 masks during a two-hour event at the Eastern Henrico Rec Center.

He says to expect a rough few months as we move into flu season, right as RSV is on the rise and new variants of COVID spread.

"The best thing I can recommend is to wear your mask when you're sharing air with other people and go get your updated shots this fall," said Knight.

It's important to remember that even with so many people vaccinated, COVID-19 is still a very dangerous disease.

"I'm 25, and after COVID, I got a cardiologist, I got a pulmonologist, I got an endocrinologist. I didn't need those specialists before I got COVID," remarked Knight about his own experience. "Now I've had to get a lot more things checked out because of what COVID can do to you, and we don't know what it can really do to you in the long term.”

The COVID testing events happen every Wednesday at the Eastern Henrico Rec Center from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

On Thursdays, testing is offered at the Henrico Arms Apartments from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., you can visit Southside Plaza for testing in front of the WIC office.

Additionally, on Thursdays, RHHD teams up with Henrico Mental Health Services to address another deadly epidemic: the opioid crisis.

Henrico residents can stop by the event at Henrico Arms Apartments, located at 1566 Edgelawn Circle, to obtain and learn to use Narcan kits. Between January 1 and June 30th of this year, RHHD reports 553 kits were distributed, and 211 citizens were trained to use them.

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