20-29 age group leads COVID-19 cases in Richmond, Dr. Avula says


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Richmond, said Health Director Dr. Danny Avula during a virtual update Thursday.

According to Dr. Avula, the city is currently peaking at 43 new cases per day. During the first peak in Richmond, the seven-day moving average was 52 cases per day.

“There is nothing to indicate that this trend is going to be reversed any time soon,” Dr. Avula said, pointing to the upcoming holiday season.

Younger people are making up a large part of the city’s COVID-19 cases. Dr. Avula said the 20-29 age group is dominating the number of cases, followed by the 30-39 age group.

An outbreak at the Richmond Office of the General Registrar earlier this week has left 11 employees there with the virus as of Thursday. A couple more employees are still waiting on test results, Dr. Avula said.

The outbreak is linked to other cases across the city’s workforce, including in Mayor Levar Stoney’s office and among the Richmond Police Department.

Mayor Stoney said there are 25 confirmed cases among the city’s workforce and 57 employees are quarantined because of direct exposure, although it is unclear how many of these cases are linked to the Registrar’s Office outbreak.

Stoney and his team have been self-isolating after a member of his campaign team tested positive for the virus. The mayor will be tested for COVID-19 on Friday.

“Typically, we ask people to hold off on any testing until about five to seven days from the time of exposure, said Dr. Avula.

He added that, although mask wearing was enforced well inside of the Registrar’s Office, there were some other factors that may have contributed to the spread there.

“The gathering, a lot of the planning meetings, a lot of the training sessions were done in spaces where six foot distancing wasn’t really possible for the number of people required to pull off some of these events,” Dr. Avula explained.

Dr. Avula also said some employees at the office went to work with very mild symptoms, thinking it was allergies, and ended up testing positive for COVID-19.

The health director also mentioned that the city is keeping an eye on outbreaks at day homes where adults with developmental disabilities live. Throughout Richmond and Henrico, there are 50 cases in small group homes.

Outbreaks in assisted living facilities have stayed steady.

Dr. Danny Avula and Mayor Stoney confirmed that the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office had an outbreak of COVID-19.

“We did have a cluster of disease at the Commonwealth’s Attorney office. It was a group of employees there that were at a social gathering together,” Dr. Avula said.

The social gathering resulted in six people testing positive for coronavirus. All six people were part of the initial gathering.

“It was about two weeks ago,” Dr. Avula said. “So three of them have now cleared their isolation period and have returned to the office.”

The others are still in quarantine and will be getting a COVID-19 test shortly, Dr. Avula said.

According to Avula, the cases have not impacted the attorney’s office operations too much.

Watch the full update from Mayor Stoney and Dr. Avula below:

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