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COVID-19 cases in Western Tidewater trending downward

Virginia saw a record-breaking daily increase in COVID-19 cases Nov. 7 – 2,103 in total – but most aren’t coming from Western Tidewater. In fact, as of Monday, the health district’s rolling seven-day average number of daily cases, with the exception of Oct. 27, was 9.96 per 100,000 people – the lowest it’s been since July 7.

Health District Director Dr. Todd Wagner attributes Western Tidewater’s decline in new cases to the public’s continued wearing of masks, social distancing and prompt contact tracing on his department’s part.

But “we all must continue to stay particularly diligent” as temperatures drop, he warned, since the fall and winter months mean more time indoors and possibly holiday-associated travel and gatherings.

Wagner declined to comment on the epidemiology of the latest statewide surge, but data published on the Virginia Department of Health’s website suggests it is tied primarily to Southwestern Virginia.

The city of Roanoke currently has a 10.3% testing positivity rate, and has been trending upward since late September. The Lenowisco and Cumberland Plateau health districts, both of which are on Virginia’s border with Kentucky, have positivity rates upwards of 13%.