Richmond’s daily COVID-19 case count decreases, Dr. Avula says

Dr. Avula

Dr. Danny Avula addresses the press during a conference on August 19, 2020. (Photo: 8News)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney along with Dr. Danny Avula from the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts provided an update on COVID-19 cases in the city.

Dr. Avula said over the last two weeks Richmond had sustained a steady increase of 24 cases a day. However, the city is now averaging 18 new cases per day.

Percent positivity in the city is also decreasing from 8.8 percent this time last week to 6.9 percent over the last few days. Hospitalizations in the central region are also following the same downward trend. Dr. Avula said he questions whether or not this will be sustained.

This morning the Virginia Department of Health reported that Richmond has 3,455 cases of COVID-19. Currently, 348 people are hospitalized in the city. Since the pandemic started a total of 43 people have died.

At this point, the Latinx and African American communities make up 80 percent of the cases in Richmond.

“We’ve talked about from the beginning of this pandemic, the disproportionate impact on low income families and communities of color, and obviously those communities overlap a lot because of our structural inequities,” Dr. Avula said. “The good news is that we’ve seen some pretty decreasing rates in our Hispanic, Latino community.”

Avula said cases in these communities peaked in May but have steadily decreased since then.

“The bad news is that our case percentage and our case counts have seen the opposite trend,” Dr. Avula said.

Data provided by the Virginia Department of Health

Over the weekend, Dr. Avula said he had a very personal reminder of how challenging this time can be.

Dr. Avula said he developed some congestion and was struggling with questions on if he should isolate or stay home from work. He ended up getting a COVID-19 test and tested negative for the virus.

Stoney reiterated that the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts continue to provide community testing. This week Richmonders can get tested at the following locations:

Thursday, August 20 – Fairfield Middle School (Henrico)

Address: 5121 Nine Mile Rd, Richmond, VA 23223
Time: 9-11 a.m.
Rain or shine

Saturday, August 22 – Richmond Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church (Richmond)

Address: 3700 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond, VA 23224
Time: 9-11 a.m.
Rain or shine

Saturday, August 22 – Jeff Davis Flea Market (Chesterfield)

Address: 5700 Jefferson Davis Hwy., North Chesterfield, VA 23234
Time: Noon-2 p.m.
Walk up testing

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