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One thousand cases reported in Floyd: COVID-19 cases continue upward trend

One thousand cases reported in Floyd: COVID-19 cases continue upward trend

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FLOYD — Sixteen cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Floyd County Public Schools since the beginning of the school year (Aug. 11), with 11 identified Aug. 11-23 and five reported this week, as of Tuesday, Aug. 24.

FCPS launched a COVID data dashboard at the beginning of the school year that consists of cases confirmed by the New River Health District. Numbers are updated daily and presented in a weekly format with the most recent cases in the Buffaloes’ gold, and older ones in black.

Twelve of the cases have occurred at Floyd County High School, two at Indian Valley Elementary, one at Willis Elementary and one in a member of the operational staff (School Board, Maintenance, Transportation, Technology).

Superintendent John Wheeler said this week that FCPS regularly communicates with and receives guidance from NRHD. Find the full dashboard at www.floyd.k12.va.us/covid19, and click "COVID Data" on the left.

A number of medical professionals consider the recent surge of COVID patients “the pandemic of the unvaccinated,” as the majority of new cases are occurring in individuals who have not received one of the COVID vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson and Johnson.

Noelle Bissell, director of the New River Health District and acting director for others in the state, encourages community members to be vaccinated and points to established data that disproves misinformation about the vaccine.

She released a letter to community members Aug. 17 that notes healthcare workers’ perspective on the surges in their communities where they’ve been working tirelessly since the beginning of the pandemic:

“Many of our healthcare workers — those we rely on to care for us and our families — are worn out and stressed, and we cannot afford to lose them. They go to work every day, see the devastation and hold the hands of those who are dying because family can't be present. They do this because they are trained to give care to those in need, and they do their best with what they have, knowing there are limited treatments for COVID-19, and no cure.

“This surge is entirely preventable and healthcare workers feel as if their community is letting them down. Many view the rejection of vaccines as betrayal, when they can see a potential end to the exhaustion, loss and sacrifice.”

Additionally, new Rumor Control questions have been answered on the NRHD website, including one about the FDA approval: "Doesn't the FDA regulate tobacco and e-cigarettes?"

It was answered Aug. 20: "FDA regulation of tobacco and e-cigarettes does not mean they’re safe to use; it means that the FDA can track and regulate the manufacturing, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products.”

Find other questions and answers at www.nrvroadtowellness.com/covid-19-rumor-control.

The Virginia Department of Health added a new dashboard to its dataset last week to show unvaccinated people develop COVID at a rate 12.5 times higher than those who are fully vaccinated, and 2.5 times higher than those who are partially vaccinated.

Floyd County’s current risk level is “very high,” with a positive test rate of 20.7% and one person infecting .93 others, which indicates a consistent rate of spread, according to CovidActNow, an independent nonprofit that tracks COVID data nationwide.

About 42% of Floyd County residents are fully vaccinated, and almost 46% of the county has received at least one dose.

From Jan. 17 to Aug. 14, there have been nearly 11,000 breakthrough cases statewide in individuals who were vaccinated, as well as 404 hospitalizations and 83 deaths, VDH reports.

The local collective of hospitals that provided weekly updates from Carilion, Centra, LewisGale, Sovah and the Salem VA, re-started its report at the beginning of August due to the “continued upward trend in our region.” The collective previously stopped the weekly updates because of decreased regional cases mid-spring.

As of Friday, Aug. 20, there were a total of 182 patients hospitalized at the contributing facilities, including 74 in the ICU and 12 waiting for results. This accounts for 3% for the total hospitalizations across the state as of Tuesday, which tripled during the past month.

The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association reports from July 24 until Aug 24. hospitalizations more than tripled from 415 to 1,325, with 395 in the ICU.

Local resources for finding a vaccination location, testing sites and more can be found at www.nrvroadtowellness.com.

The Pharm House Pharmacy in Floyd has been a consistent partner to NRHD in vaccinating Floyd County residents. To learn more, call (540) 745-3333.

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