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Four people contract COVID-19 after Richmond party

Posted at 6:30 PM, Jul 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-06 20:51:13-04

RICHMOND, Va., — Hospitalizations and the number of cases connected to the coronavirus are decreasing, according to Henrico-Richmond District Health Director Dr. Danny Avula.

Avula and city officials provided an update on the progress surrounding COVID-19 and evictions during a Monday afternoon press conference inside City Council Chambers. Avula said the progress has recently plateaued, but the city is in a better position compared to other states.

“The pandemic is still very real. COVID-19 is real and what we don’t want to happen is that COVID-19 catches us slipping,” Mayor Levar Stoney said.

There have been more than 2,200 positive cases reported in the city and 29 deaths since the start of the pandemic. No Richmonders have died from complications to the virus within the past two weeks, Stoney said.

Dr. Avula said they are investigating a cluster of cases that stemmed from a party.

About 50 people attended the party indoors and four people have tested positive, Avula said. He would not reveal where the party was held.

“Now we are seeing the immediate impact of that. I think that serves as a cautionary tale that the virus is still out there. It’s going to spread when people congregate and we need to make really wise decisions at the degree we do that,” Avula explained.

Richmonders can visit RVAstrong.org to find resources on testing.

City leaders also discussed the impact of evictions related to the pandemic. About 1,900 families in the city were served with unlawful detainers or eviction summons this year.

Residents who may be eligible for the Emergency Rent Assistance programs are asked to call 804-644-2401.

The city has allocated millions of dollars toward eviction diversion and rental assistance, according to city officials. The city allocated $6 million to funding of the CARES Act to help keep families in their homes.

If you have already been served an unlawful detainer or eviction summons you’re asked to visit RVAEvictions.org.

“The city is using its funds to help everybody stay sheltered. It’s a number one priority of our city to ensure everybody stays sheltered and stays healthy,” said Sharon Ebert, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of Economic Development.