Richmond reverses course — uptick in COVID-19 cases can be traced to wedding, outbreak at assisted living facility

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — After 35 days of seeing a downward trend in the daily case count, Richmond has reversed course.

As of this morning, the Richmond City Health District is reporting 4,839 cases of COVID-19 and 62 deaths.

Dr. Danny Avula from the Richmond and Henrico Health district said the daily case count is being affected by two outbreaks.

According to the doctor, there is now a “significant” outbreak at an assisted living facility with over 30 cases. The city’s health department is also investigating “multiple” COVID-19 cases linked to a wedding.

“Residents from across the region all congregated at this wedding and there are multiple cases that we continue to work out of that,” Dr. Avula said.

Because the wedding investigation is protected, Dr. Avula was not able to share many details. However, he said he shared information about the wedding so people are aware that large gatherings continue to drive large clusters of COVID-19 cases.

“It’s a reminder to all of us, as much as we want to let our guard down, and see people, and get back to some of those normal activities, any time people are around each other, the virus can spread,” Dr. Avula said.

Dr. Avula is also worried that as temperatures in Richmond start to cool, people will start having more indoor gatherings.

In regards to dining, Dr. Avula said restaurants are still encouraged to create as many outdoor dining spaces as possible. He suggested tents and heaters for when it’s chilly and reminds Richmonders that the virus will spread much more effectively inside.

8News asked Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney if he would consider rolling back on the city’s re-opening if cases were to significantly spike. He said that’s a potential possibility.

“I’m unafraid of what’s necessary, doing what’s necessary, to protect each and every resident in the city,” Stoney said.

Watch the mayor’s press briefing:

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