Mt. Rogers Health District Director: COVID-19 peak in SWVA forecasted for September
The peak of COVID-19 cases in Southwest Virginia is currently forecasted to hit in September.
That’s according to Dr. Karen Shelton, Director of the Mount Rogers Health District, who presented a coronavirus update to Bristol, Virginia City Council members during a meeting Tuesday night.
“Our trend (in new cases) over the last month has been very concerningly steep, we are going up. The estimates for Southwest Virginia do include us peaking sometime in September, so we have not seen the last of this yet,” said Shelton.
The health district, which covers six counties and two localities including Bristol, has fared better than other parts of the state with generally fewer cases than the Commonwealth’s Northern region.
Bristol for example, only had four cases until July 1st, but has gained over 40 cases since then (48 total as of Wednesday). Dr. Shelton also said the region has not done as well with following Gov. Ralph Northam’s face mask order, but improvements have occurred as several businesses have ordered face covering mandates for patrons inside stores.
“It was very disappointing to me that even as essential businesses were allowed to function that no one took this very seriously, even with the Governor’s face mask orders. Now that we are in phase three and people are out and about, I have been very pleased that certain of our larger stores have taken it seriously and have mandated not only for their employees but also their customers to be wearing masks as they come in and shop, and I think this is a great stride,” Shelton said.
Shelton also said that she hopes that people see the value in wearing a face mask as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the region.
Photo Courtesy: Bristol, VA City Council Livestream