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COVID-19 cases in kids rise in Charlottesville area, experts caution potential ‘4th wave’

Hand sanitizing station in Charlottesville
Hand sanitizing station in Charlottesville(WVIR)
Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 9:26 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Rises in COVID-19 cases in the Blue Ridge Health District have been seen before, most recently after the Christmas and New Year holiday and then again when University of Virginia students returned to grounds for the spring semester.

While the seven-day moving average is going down in the district, a potential fourth wave has health experts pleading for cautious behavior.

“There’s a lot of conversations about a fourth surge,” said Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker at Monday’s City Council meeting. “Is that a local concern?”

That question was pointed at Denise Bonds, the director of the Blue Ridge Health District. She paused before saying, “Yes, potentially.”

Bonds says our area hasn’t seen the increases that other areas have seen, though the timing is right for a rise in cases.

“It is spring break right now for all of our schools,” she said. “We have seen a little bit of an uptick in the number of children who are testing positive for COVID.”

Bonds says the next two weeks will be critical to track the numbers and see if a fourth wave is coming to central Virginia. There are things each of us can do to avoid it.

“If we are moving around our world, that we’re doing it in a way that keeps that distance and that keeps us as healthy as possible,” said Jason Elliott, a spokesperson for BRHD.

Elliott says the same health measures still need to be followed: masks, distance, hand washing, and remember - mixing households can still be a risk.

It’s especially crucial as more children test positive, because kids 16-and-younger still cannot get the vaccine.

“Oftentimes when we do receive that vaccine, we think that all of a sudden, everything is peachy keen and we can be back to normal,” Elliott said. “The truth of the matter is, though, we still have to maintain a lot of our healthy habits.”

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