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New River Health District says number of new COVID-19 cases is beginning to decline

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 10:42 PM EDT
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NEW RIVER VALLEY, Va. (WDBJ) - The New River Health District’s most recent COVID-19 update provided some positives for the New River Valley community. Health Director Dr. Noelle Bissell said the number of new cases is beginning to decline.

The NRV has seen quite a spike in new COVID-19 cases over the last two months, mainly due to the highly transmissible Delta variant. Dr. Bissell said a few weeks ago she expected cases would hit their peaks near the end of September.

At this time, there are 70 patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 in the NRV; at least 10 of the 70 are in the intensive care units in their hospitals. Dr. Bissell said hospitals are overwhelmed and the community should avoid risky behavior in general that might land them in a hospital.

NRHD is also now offering booster shots to those who are eligible. Some of the high priority groups for booster shots include people 65 and older, residents of long-term care facilities and 50- to 64-year-olds with underlying health conditions.

The booster shots are for Pfizer only and you must have had your second dose at least six months ago. Dr. Bissell said boosters are not an emergency; vaccine immunity does not disappear after six months and the boosters are there to increase immunity.

“There is no vaccine shortage, there is no urgency to it and there are plenty of avenues to get it. So I think it should roll out pretty smoothly, I think the risks of the booster shot, the vaccines have been shown to be very safe.”

Dr. Bissell expects Moderna to get approved for booster shots in the coming weeks, along with Pfizer receiving approval to administer the vaccine to 5- to 11-year-olds.

For more information, you can head to the NRHD’s website here.

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