Virginia’s Epidemiologist answers 10 On Your Side’s questions about COVID-19


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – The new numbers are in and they reveal a dangerous sign of things to come.

Overnight, Virginia saw more than 100 new cases of COVID-19 and the largest increase in hospitalizations in a single day.  To fight this invisible but deadly enemy health officials are using medical intelligence information gathered by our local paramedics and firefighters.

“Health care providers are the front line of public health; they are the ones out there diagnosing the patients and identifying them. We share that information with public health officials. We have been providing information to care providers from the beginning of this situation and we continue to do that,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Lilian Peake.

Dr. Peake says flexibility is the key, “If the numbers reveal a trend, such as a community cluster, that information is then passed along to the Health Care Coordination Work Group. They are actively looking at numbers and looking at how to prepare. They are working together across systems.”

The coordinated effort is used to fine-tune treatment protocols and to determine how resources, such as protective gear, test kits and ventilators will be used by troops on the ground and by doctors in hospitals.

The science behind the numbers is critical, but Dr. Peake says it’s also critical that everyone continues to do their part in the war on the coronavirus.

“At some point, we can’t say for sure when, we will begin to level off and you will see a decrease because the virus is spread mostly person-to-person. The more that we can have people stay away from each other and not spread it to each other, the less the impact will be over time,” said Dr. Peake.

The state is monitoring the numbers around the clock.  If state computer models detect a dangerous new trend, that information will be shared on the state health department website and you can always count on to bring you the latest warnings from state health officials.

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