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Richmond Health Director urges people to avoid large gatherings, stay outdoors

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Posted at 12:25 AM, Jul 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-04 00:25:53-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia has entered Phase 3 of reopening, which means fewer restrictions for public gathering. But Dr. Danny Avula, Director of the Richmond and Henrico Health Department said the coast is not clear and is urging people to refrain from large groups, especially on the holiday weekend.

“We’re concerned with that with more human connections, more people around each other, is going to spread the virus," Dr. Avula said.

Avula said the commonwealth is not seeing an increase in covid-19 cases like other states.

“My hope is that rates had gotten low enough that we aren’t going to see huge spikes but people still need to be careful," Dr. Avula said.

As we head into the fourth of July weekend, Dr. Avula advises people to avoid large groups and gatherings.

“I think if we can keep the groups small, we limit the potential for a lot of transmissions," Dr. Avula said. "There are some recent studies that have shown indoor gatherings are at risk for 20 times greater risk than in outdoor gathering.”

It's advice health experts hope young people follow. Virginia Beach has already reported a 240 percent spike in covid-19 cases in people under the age of 20.

While the numbers are alarming, Dr. Avula said older people are still at the highest risk when it comes to the coronavirus.

"We still have no vaccine. We got a couple of better treatments that are working for hospitalized patients but the core things that people have been doing, we need to continue doing," Dr. Avula said.

With no vaccine available, Dr. Avula believes masks, social distancing, and practicing good hygiene are the safest options for everyone.

“We got to find a healthy middle ground. We got to continue to exercise caution. Monitor ourselves for symptoms," Dr. Avula said. "Wear a mask, keep your distance and wash our hands."