ROANOKE, Va – While most areas of Virginia are trending in the right direction in terms of COVID-19 numbers, Southwest Virginia is not.
The percent of new cases in our region is almost double what it is in other areas of the state.
On Wednesday, what Gov. Ralph Northam said echoes what local health officials have been saying for weeks.
People are not following restrictions and COVID-19 numbers continue to go in the wrong direction.
Southwest Virginia has a percent positivity rate of about 8%. For comparison, Northern and Eastern Virginia are at roughly 4%.
Northam said new cases are being spread amongst small groups of four to five people.
During his coronavirus update, he announced the state is working with local officials and health districts to help get the case count under control.
“Most people are doing the right thing, and they are tired of seeing other folks disregard the rules and disregard the health and safety of other people so we’re taking action,” Governor Ralph Northam said.
The announcement comes as the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts are working to come up with more efforts to better prevent the spread of the virus in our communities.
Northam said that while state officials don’t want to put more restrictions in place to prevent the spread of the virus, they are working with localities to see if that would be the best option.
“We’re keeping an eye on this and we are in conversation with our local leaders and health officials in that region about potential actions that they can take to mitigate the spread,” Northam said.
During the update, Tuesday’s election was also a topic of discussion.
Virginia Secretary of Administration Keyanna Conner provided an update on how and when votes will be counted. The state is working with both top security and health officials so those heading to the polls can have a safe election day.
Conner emphasized that the timing of results for each race will vary by locality and may even take days to come in.
“I’d like to emphasize patience when it comes to election night we will have results rolling in over the course of the evening but the bulk of the numbers will come later that evening or on the days following the election,” Virginia Secretary of Administration Keyanna Conner said.
The governor suggests if you are voting absentee and you have not mailed your ballot to consider dropping it off to the department of elections to ensure it is counted by November 6th.