Covid-19Local News

Decline in COVID-19, flu, and RSV cases in Roanoke

Roanoke, Virginia – Roanoke has witnessed a welcome decrease in the number of COVID-19, flu, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) cases, a trend that local health officials find encouraging.

Health District Director Cynthia Morrow from the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts expressed optimism about the recent downward trend in these illnesses. “We were hopeful that the trend, the downward trend that we’ve seen over the last few weeks would continue, and in fact, it has continued, which is great news,” Morrow said. This decline is significant given the challenges posed by these viruses in the past few years.

Currently, the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts have reported 32 hospitalizations due to the coronavirus, including 13 new hospitalizations. These numbers encompass patients treated at Salem VA Medical Center, Carilion, and Lewis Gale Hospitals. “It looks like we peaked the week of Christmas for this latest surge in COVID-19, and thankfully, since then we’ve had a slow but steady decrease,” Morrow noted.

Despite the positive trend, there were still two reported COVID-19 deaths within the last week in the health districts.

RSV and Flu Cases Also Decreasing

In addition to COVID-19, RSV cases have also seen a decline since Christmas. RSV, a common respiratory virus with symptoms such as a runny nose, coughing, and sneezing, can be particularly severe for infants and older adults.

Flu cases in the region are also on the decline. While local health departments do not have specific local numbers, the Virginia Health Department reported that 1,480 Virginians were diagnosed with the flu in the week ending January 13. “Right now, across the country, it looks like influenza has peaked and is decreasing. And certainly, if we look at Virginia as a whole, our numbers for influenza hospitalizations have decreased our emergency department surveillance is also seeing a decrease,” Morrow explained.

Continued Vigilance Advised

Despite the encouraging trends, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still report high flu activity in Virginia. To maintain safety, Morrow emphasizes the importance of responsible behavior. She advises anyone with a fever and cough to stay home, especially for five days in the case of COVID-19, and avoid going to work, school, or using public transportation. Additionally, she underscores the importance of covering coughs and sneezes.

Morrow also recommends vaccinations as a primary preventive measure against flu and COVID-19. “Vaccines are the best primary prevention—the best way to protect ourselves. They’re not perfect, but they are the best tool that we have,” she stated.

Gayle Gordon

As a college student, making an extra buck now and then was very important. I started as a part-time reporter since I was 19 yo, and I couldn’t believe it might become a long-time career. I'm happy to be part of the Virginian Tribune's team.

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