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New COVID-19 outbreaks, increased antibody testing in local health districts

'We wouldn’t say that we have had a big surge or, you know, a big, steep, bell curve. It’s been much more constant

ROANOKE, Va. – By the end of the week, a Virginia Department of Health official said we could start seeing if there’s been a spike in COVID-19 cases after the busy Memorial Day weekend.

Dr. Molly O’Dell, the director of communicable disease control for the Virginia Department of Health’s Roanoke City and Alleghany Health districts, said about a third of people could be asymptomatic. That’s why VDH is going to start doing antibody testing to see how prevalent the virus is in the community.

O’Dell also added that while more testing is available, there’s now a shortage of nasal-throat swabs.

In her districts, there was a big spike in COVID-19 cases around mid-April. Before then, there were about 1-4 new cases a day. Since then, there has been about 4-10.

“In our case, we wouldn’t say that we have had a big surge or, you know, a big, steep, bell curve. It’s been much more constant and steady," said O’Dell.

O’Dell said there are ten outbreaks currently, including at long-term care facilities, assisted facilities and jails, daycare centers, health care facilities and businesses, however she couldn’t identify them specifically or where they are located.

Long-term care facilities will soon be required to report if they have an outbreak.


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