In line with recent Virginia Department of Health reports, Carilion Clinic infectious disease experts are seeing an uptick of COVID-19 in our area.

As individuals make holiday weekend plans, it is more important than ever to stay vigilant. The decisions made by community members in the coming months will determine how COVID-19 impacts the region.

Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Practice social distancing.

The percentage of Carilion positive COVID-19 tests has more than doubled since late May, climbing from 2.01% as of May 26 to 4.61% as of June 25. The largest uptick has been within the last week, with an observed jump of more than one percent.

Southwest Virginia in particular is experiencing an uptick in the number and rate of COVID-19 cases in contrast with the rest of Virginia, which has seen a decrease. Increases are due to community spread in addition to community members traveling outside the region.

Asymptomatic spread also continues to be a major threat. Many of Carilion's recent diagnoses are asymptomatic individuals, meaning they can spread the disease without knowing it.

Carilion continues to take precautions - like universal masking and screenings - to keep patients and visitors safe in its facilities. The system also remains prepared for any potential patient surge. Before it gets to that point, however, experts urge the community to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Check out the full interview below with Dr. Paul Skolnik, Chair of Medicine and Infectious Disease Physician for Carilion Clinic:

Questions covered include:

  • Have we seen an uptick locally? If so, why?
  • Where is the spread occurring?
  • Should folks be concerned about visiting a Carilion facility?
  • What advice do you have as the state continues to reopen?
  • Anything else to add?
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