New River Health director urges workers and workplaces to maintain best practices for COVID-19


CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The director of the New River Health District, Noelle Bissell, M.D., is encouraging workers and workplaces in the New River Valley to maintain best practices for COVID-19 and to not relax their efforts.

“Workplace outbreaks have not been a huge part of the COVID-19 story so far in the New River Valley, in spite of surrounding regions having numerous outbreaks. We would like to keep it that way,” she said.

According to Dr. Bissell, there are currently 71 active workplace outbreaks in Southwest Virginia.

“The New River Valley is also experiencing a workplace outbreak this week and we will see a rise in reported new cases of COVID-19. We expect to see more new cases throughout the region during the coming days, as we increase testing and conduct contact tracing,” she said.

The most recent outbreaks in the district have been predominantly student-related.

“This is a virus that does not take a break. Our investigations show that most cases are acquired through close social contact; that can be at work, at home, or when out and about. People know how to handle the pandemic protocols when they are in their professional roles, but often relax them among friends and family.”

Noelle Bissell, M.D., director of New River Health District

The health department reminds workers to wear masks and practice physical distancing in break rooms, in meeting rooms, anytime we are in vehicles with others, both inside and outside of the workplace.

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