DANVILLE, Va. – The Pittsylvania County and Danville area has seen a major increase in coronavirus cases the past two weeks.
The total number of cases for the two areas has increased by 93.25%, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
Virginia as a whole has only seen a 19.49% increase in the same two-week time span.
Pittsylvania-Danville Health District Director Dr. Scott Spillman blames the spike on outbreaks and Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan.
On Friday, he emphasized what health officials everywhere have been saying for months: wear a mask if you can, practice social distancing and wash your hands.
Spillman explained that the virus is working its way across the state.
“We just seem to be having more exposure now. People have also been going to other places,” said Spillman. ”There’s still a lot of people not wearing masks.”
He’s concerned for teachers and students as they prepare to head back to school in about a month.
He recommends parents treat their kids coming home from school like they would if the kid had been playing in the mud.
“What do you do? You get the child out of those clothes either right outside or right inside the door. You put those dirty clothes into some special container and you clean the child off and put brand new clean clothes on that child and then you try to make sure that those dirty clothes get washed as soon as possible,” said Spillman.
The Chief Operating Officer at Sovah Health’s Danville Campus, John Kent, said there are multiple surge plans in place for an increase in hospitalizations.
“At the beginning of this (pandemic), we actually converted one of our floors to a COVID floor, where we had the ability to take care of these patients. That floor has been operating up to about 12 beds to this point. We have a surge plan to expand that up to 24,” Kent explained.
There is a similar plan for the ICU and a plan to get more ventilators.
Thankfully, as of Friday hospitalizations had not spiked.
The hospital has also taken steps to try to stop the spread of the virus, including no longer allowing visitors except in certain situations starting Friday.