The Commonwealth of Virginia added more than 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 Coronavirus for the third straight day, Floyd County’s case count jumped by 10, a record increase that brings the local case count to 296.
Wednesday’s daily report from the Virginia Department of Health showed Roanoke city, county and Salem’s count jumped by 141 cases.
“On one day we can keep up, then all of a sudden there’s a day where we get hundreds of new cases. Then we tell our disease investigators which ones are priority,” said Dr. Molly O’Dell, who is leading the pandemic response for the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts, told The Roanoke Times Tuesday.
“Because we have so much community spread now, we have a larger and larger number of people who have no idea where they got it,” O’Dell said during the district’s weekly briefing on Tuesday. “At the very beginning, we would get detailed [physicians’] notes for instance that this person got it from their brother-in-law or whatever, and we’d know the symptoms. Physicians are so overwhelmed now, they are going straight to the test, and we don’t get any other information.”
In Floyd County, the increase of 10 a day outstrips what is reported on any most months for our rural area.
For the moment, hospitalizations of Floyd County residents remain at 15 total for the seven months of the pandemic and 15 deaths.
In Wednesday’s VDH report, hospitalizations throughout the Commonwealth increased by 99 with 25 more deaths.
Gov. Ralph Northam has tightened restrictions in Virginia, with masks now required for children, starting at age 5, and adults. He ordered earlier closing for bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, and cut public gathering limit sizes.
He cut the public gathering limits from 250 to 25 for both indoors and outside.
Northam says a “lockdown” like the one that closed businesses earlier in the pandemic is not planned.
The virus has infected the two oldest members of Congress, both Republicans — Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Rep. Don Young of Alaska — both age 87.
Young is hospitalized. Both men are at an age considered “extremely vulnerable” to the infection. More than 80 members of Congress have tested positive for the virus or have been quarantined because of exposure to it.
Wednesday’s report reflects totals through 5 p.m. Tuesday — two weeks after the presidential election that brought record turnouts around the country and in Floyd County, leading some to wonder if casting a vote also brought an infection.
Ironically, those who called the pandemic a “hoax” and said the virus would “disappear” after the election have not come up with an excuse on why case counts, hospitalizations and deaths have increased.
While Floyd County, and most of Southwestern Virginia, voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, Democratic challenger Joe Biden won the Commonwealth and the national vote count.
So much for the “hoax.”