COVID-19 cases keep rising

Recent spikes in cases in Floyd County and throughout Virginia most likely are not directly related to the reopening of schools this week.
First day of school in Floyd County on August 11. (Photo courtesy of the Floyd County School System).

Coronavirus cases continue to increase in Virginia at an alarming rate. Infections rose by 1,194 persons in Friday’s report by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), while Floyd County cases increased by 2 to bring the local total to 111 after double-digit spikes this week.

A month ago, Floyd had just over 20 cases. Infections have increased more than five times. The county’s primary zip code (24091) provided most of the cases (81) and had 757 tests.

Nationwide, the COVID-19 count was 5,416,829 at 9:15 a.m. EDT with 170,429 deaths. The United States has just 4.25 percent of the world’s population but more than 20 percent of the cases.

In Virginia, more than 2,300 people have died from the virus and more than 8,650 were hospitalized.

Research shows that about 40 percent of those infected had no symptoms before tests confirmed they had the COVID-19 virus. At a Boston homeless shelter, tests found 147 infections but 88 percent showed no symptoms. Tests of prisoners in Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Ohio found 3,277 infections but 96 percent had no symptoms.

At Etowah High School near Atlanta earlier this month, a social media photo of 80 teens in front of the school building showed no masks or social distancing.

“It’s like they think they are immune and are in denial about everything,” Amanda Seghetti, a mother of school children, told The Washington Post. Her worst fears were confirmed when tests found infections among the Georgia students and forced quarantine.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association say 338,982 children have come down with the virus as of July 30.

Not so, claims president Donald Trump. “The fact is they are virtually immunte from the problem,” he told Axios in an interview this month.

While some studies say the virus affects children differently than adults, they do get sick, many of them seriously, and spread the disease to others who have other conditions that COVID-19 preys upon.

Some children, doctors report, have died from heart failure because the virus triggers a multisystem inflammatory syndrome called MIS-C. The Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, in a study, found higher levels of the virus in children under 5 than older kids and adults.

Michigan health officials found more than 100 teens in three counties infected following graduation celebrations and other parties.

Did reopening of schools in Floyd County contribute to the sharp rise in cases of COVID-19 in this rural area? VDH is not saying. The first day of school was four days ago so the increases this week are most likely not related to bringing students back together.

Time will tell.

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