RICHMOND, Va. -- The City of Richmond has surpassed the highest peak of weekly COVID-19 cases that that the city has experienced at any point during the pandemic.
Dr. Danny Avula, Director of the Richmond and Henrico County Health Departments, said Richmond hit a record seven-day average of 56 cases per day, up from 54 cases back in June.
"I anticipate that this trend will continue over the next couple of months," said Avula. "It's inevitable that both the combination of holiday gathering and indoor time spent pushes us further and further down this road."
Avula says cases are also rising again at long term care facilities.
He says it's partly due to staff members unknowingly contracting the virus outside of the facility and then bringing it in.
"Everything that we can do to limit spread, will cut off that that ripple effect to present disease into high risk situations," said Avula.
The health director says the city is continuing to see some cases identified in schools, particularly private schools.
However, Avula says they are not seeing a lot of in-school transmission.
"Much of the cases that we're seeing are the people who contract COVID in their day-to-day activities and their socializing outside of school, but when they come in to the much more regulated environment of schools in session, we're not seeing spread in the classroom setting by and large," he added.
Avula says there's been a slight uptick in hospitalizations in the city, but there's no need to worry about reaching capacity at this point.
"While we've seen a slight uptick in hospital numbers, our capacity continues to be good," Avula explained. "We're currently at 31% occupancy for our ventilator beds in the region and so still plenty of capacity there."
In total, the Richmond City Health District is reporting 6384 total cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, and 80 COVID-19 related deaths.