‘COVID-19 cases are constant and steady’: Dr. Molly O’Dell from Roanoke City, Alleghany Health Districts details area’s coronavirus response


UPDATE 12:19 p.m.: Dr. Molly O’Dell, director of communicable disease control for Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts, says coronavirus cases in southwest Virginia are “constant and steady.”

O’Dell says medical staffs are treating between four and 10 cases a day rather than one to four.

She says those new numbers are due to a spike in cases in mid-April.

  • Roanoke City: 174 cases
  • Roanoke County: 85 cases
  • Salem- 42 cases
  • Botetourt County: 31 cases
  • Alleghany County: 13 cases
  • Craig County: 6 cases
  • Covington: 5 cases

O’Dell says there are 10 active outbreaks of the virus in the area.

There three outbreaks in congregant living facilities like jails, shelters and nursing homes, five outbreak in area businesses, one at a daycare and another at a healthcare facility.

O’Dell says people may be getting used to measures to prevent spreading COVID-19, including social distancing and washing hands, but says there is value in people wearing face coverings.

“The use of face coverings of course is to prevent us, who could be an asymptomatic carrier, from giving it to someone.”

According to O’Dell, one-third of people with the coronavirus are asymptomatic.

O’Dell says the best way health experts can try to contain the virus is through case investigations, contact tracing and doing targeted testing in high-risk communities.

21 people in the area have died from the virus.

Since southwest Virginia’s first resocrded case in March, there have been 55 have stayed in the hospital and O’Dell says those numbers have been “fairly steady.”

Right now, there are 18 people hospitalized.

210 women are infected with the illness, while 146 men have the virus.

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Dr. Molly O’Dell, director of communicable disease control for the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts, is set to conduct a virtual coronavirus briefing at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26.

Watch the briefing on WFXRtv.com and the WFXR News app.

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