High COVID-19 positivity rate in BRHD, but there are more tools to fight this surge

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – The Center for Disease Control and Prevention website shows an average community level of COVID-19 for the Charlottesville area.

The positivity rate is also up, but UVA Health doctors say there’s a big difference between the current and previous waves.

“It’s really difficult to interpret these numbers now because of the home tests,” said Doctor Costi Sifri on Thursday May 26.

PCR tests are those that are counted by health officials. Dr Sifri says some people are already getting a PCR test knowing they have the virus after getting the results from a home test.

“It may inflate that number higher, however, as I think we’ve been talking about over the last few weeks now, there’s a lot of community transmission of COVID,” Sifri said.

The positivity rate in the Charlottesville area is back to about what it was in March 2020, around 14%. However, there no longer seems to be a shortage of home tests or PCR tests.

“We have a lot more tools now than before,” Dr Sifri said. “We have a widely vaccinated population.”

The doctor added: “Hopefully people will avail themselves of the vaccines, especially the boosters if they haven’t had them.”

There are currently 24 patients at UVA Medical Center with COVID-19: 18 in acute units, four in intensive care and two in pediatrics.

“There is always a significant risk of getting an active infection, especially if you are not protected,” said Dr Reid Adams. “We are not out of the pandemic at this point.”

If you are eligible for a second booster, doctors encourage you to get it right away. This includes people over 12 with medical conditions, those at high risk, and those over 50. However, this must be at least four months after your first booster.

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