Thursday COVID-19 Update

According to Dr. Molly O’Dell, Director, of Communicable Disease Control with the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts, Alleghany County now has 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and Covington now has 4 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of 5:00 p.m. this evening. These are cumulative cases. Alleghany County has 2 confirmed cases of death due to COVID-19 at this time.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says almost 30,000 adults have enrolled in the state’s expanded Medicaid program since he declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Northam said Wednesday that more than 420,000 Virginians have enrolled in Medicaid since the state voted to expand it two years ago. Medicaid is a publicly funded health care program whose costs are shared by the federal and state governments.

Researchers hope that data collected from wastewater treatment plants will help identify and predict future spreads of the coronavirus. Metabolites in human waste can serve as an early indicator of the disease before it spreads. Sewage offers useful data without collecting personal identifiable information. It also captures virus data from people who displayed mild symptoms or no symptoms.