Virus 2

The Mount Rogers Health District announced late Friday afternoon that it had determined minimal-moderate community spread of COVID-19 within Washington County.

The Virginia Department of Health declared widespread community transmission within the state to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention earlier this week.

According to a release from the health district, minimal-moderated community transmission means there is a high likelihood of sustained community transmission or the potential for a rapid increase in suspected cases.

"Community transmission indicates that you can get COVID-19 from anywhere within the community; you don't have to travel or know a person with the disease in order to get it," said health district Director Dr. Karen Shelton. "This means everyone should stay home and only go out for essential needs as rarely as possible.

"Southwest Virginia is not immune to COVID-19," she said. "If you have to go out for critical things like grocery shopping or medical care, stay at least six feet away from others. Wash your hands and clean surfaces often. These personal precautions apply to all of us-- stay home!"

The announcement came about an hour after the health district announced that a resident of English Meadows Senior Living Community in Abingdon had been hospitalized after contracting the illness.

The Mount Rogers Health District encompasses Smyth, Wythe, Bland, Grayson, Carroll and Washington counties, as well as the cities of Bristol and Galax.

As of Friday, Grayson and Bland counties were the only two localities in the health district without a reported case of the illness.

More information on COVID-19 in Virginia can be found on the VDH website a www.vdh.virginia.gov.

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