Crater Health District urges precautions as cases rise

Published 8:18 pm Friday, August 28, 2020

The Crater Health District, which includes Surry County, is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 community transmission, and officials are urging residents to take precautions.

“Individuals, communities, schools, businesses, health care organizations and local governments all play an important role in slowing the spread of COVID-19, “Crater Health District Director Dr. Alton Hart Jr. stated in a press release. “This is how we all work together to save lives. We all have a duty to protect ourselves and those around us.”

The health district sent the press release about the increase in community transmission Friday evening. The release stated the Crater Health District is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 community transmission, as well as new cases linked to facility outbreaks.

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The Crater Health District is quite large, including not only Surry but also Sussex, Prince George, Petersburg, Hopewell, Greensville, Emporia and Dinwiddie.

There are 27 outbreaks in the Crater Health District, including 13 in long-term care facilities, six in congregate settings, five in correctional facilities and three in health care settings.

“Now that fall is almost here, we need to maintain our vigilance in following effective prevention measures to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Hart stated. “In particular, we must continue to stay home as much as possible, wear face coverings, maintain social distancing, and practice hand hygiene to help manage transmission of the virus.”

Surry’s number of cases has grown from 37 on Aug. 1 to 63 as of Aug. 28. However, Surry’s case total pales in comparison to all of the other localities in the district, which range from 219 (Emporia) to 668 (Greensville). Surry’s rate of cases per 1,000 residents is the lowest in the district, too.

The press release urged people to take the following steps:

  • Stay home as much as possible, especially if you are at higher risk of serious illness. If you must go out in public, wear a cloth face covering;
  • Stay home when you are sick and avoid contact with people who are sick;
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces;
  • Practice social distancing by staying six feet or more away from others; and
  • If you are experiencing symptoms, call your doctor.