Health officials continue to encourage vaccinations as COVID-19 cases rise in Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Health experts in the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts have been reporting an average of about 70 COVID-19 cases per week for the past nine weeks.

As of Friday, July 16, though, the number has jumped to almost 90 over the course of three days, health officials say. This is partially due to the more contagious version of the coronavirus reaching the Commonwealth.

Dr. Cynthia Morrow, the director of the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts, explained tracing the strain is difficult.

“The finger printing for this specific strain is limited,” said Dr. Morrow. “What we do know is we can assume that Delta variant is a significant role. It’s also possible that the Fourth of July festivities have had part of this.”

Those contracting it, largely, she says have been unvaccinated.

“Overwhelmingly, the cases are occurring in unvaccinated individuals, but we will continue to have breakthrough cases as long as we have,” said Dr. Morrow.

She says a mask mandate, at this time, is not likely going to come.

“I don’t see us at this time going back to a masking mandate,” commented Dr. Morrow.

People in downtown Roanoke seem split on the matter, with some still wearing masks.

Dot Austin says she double-masks despite being fully vaccinated.

“Our young people today don’t think anything about it. You know?” said Austin. “They need to go out and get the shot because they’re hurting us when they don’t have the shot.”

Leonela Hernandez ,who is fully vaccinated, was not wearing a mask, but plans to start again.

“I will be going out on work trips and stuff, so I think having that extra protection is going to be key,” said Hernandez.

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