May 16, 2022- After weeks of having low COVID-19 community level, the CDC reported Henrico County as having moved to the medium COVID-19 community level. Although Richmond City is still reported as having low COVID-19 community level, COVID-19 cases are increasing within the city and it is likely to enter medium COVID-19 community level in the coming weeks. Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) recommends everyone in the region take precautions.
The CDC’s COVID-19 community level is a tool to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data. Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area.
Based on CDC guidance for individuals who live in an area with medium COVID-19 community level, RHHD recommends everyone who lives, works, or spends time in Henrico County to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, improve ventilation in indoor spaces, and follow CDC recommendations for isolation or quarantine if sick or exposed. Because increasing case counts are observed across the entire region, RHHD recommends Richmond residents also take precautions. Individuals who are immunocompromised, at high risk for severe illness, or who spend time with high risk individuals should consider wearing a mask around others.
RHHD also continues to recommend everyone keep several at-home tests in their home in case it’s needed. Individuals can request free tests at covidtests.gov, purchase a test at a pharmacy and submit a claim to their insurance, or pick up a free COVID-19 home test at some Richmond Public Library locations (Broad Rock, East End, Ginter Park, Main Library, and North Ave). RHHD is also increasing the availability of free COVID-19 PCR test events to meet a potential increased demand; visit rchd.com for more information on testing.
“We understand that moving into a medium level may leave folks feeling frustrated or tired,” says Dr. Melissa Viray, Acting Director of RHHD. “However, this is what we’ve been preparing for. We have an opportunity to implement CDC guidance to minimize the worst impacts of a COVID surge while still functioning as a society. If we stay up to date on COVID vaccinations and implement more prevention measures during times of increased transmission, we can protect our most vulnerable and maintain healthcare’s capacity to care for us… all while still being able to maintain some activities in person.”
About Richmond and Henrico Health Districts: RHHD are sister public health agencies serving Richmond’s and Henrico’s communities. Our mission is to expose and address the root causes of health disparities, protect health by preventing the spread of disease, and build health equity by partnering with communities and working collaboratively across sectors.