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Experts emphasize testing, hand washing and distancing in areas of high transmission

Health experts remind people in the Valley to continue good hygiene. (WHSV)
Health experts remind people in the Valley to continue good hygiene. (WHSV)(WHSV)
Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 10:23 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - COVID-19 cases are at numbers not seen in the last few months in the Shenandoah Valley, and health experts recommend implementing basic health and safety measures introduced at the start of the pandemic.

Global COVID-19 cases have leveled off from the spike in July, but many parts of the Valley are experiencing high levels of transmission.

Jordi Shelton, Communications Specialist with the Central Shenandoah Health District, says it’s important to use all mitigation strategies in times of high transmission.

“Vaccination is obviously going to be the most important component, but, in addition, masking when you’re indoors even if you’re vaccinated, washing your hands, and social distancing are the other tools in the public health toolbox that can really bolster our efforts,” Shelton said.

She says it’s important to wear a mask in public to keep yourself and others safe. Masking is especially important when considering asymptomatic cases, Shelton adds.

“Should you have COVID and be asymptomatic, so you don’t know that you have COVID because you’re not showing any symptoms but you’re still able to spread the virus, it can stop you from spreading it to other people if you just go ahead and put that mask on,” Shelton said.

Many people have expressed frustration with continuing these health measures, but Shelton says it’s important to continue. On top of good hygiene and social distancing, Shelton says testing is another important factor in keeping everyone healthy.

“If you feel sick, go ahead and get a COVID-19 test. If you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19, go ahead and get a test, even if you’ve been vaccinated. It’s better to know so that if you do have COVID, you can go ahead and isolate, take care of yourself and do what you need to do,” Shelton said.

To find a COVID-19 testing site, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website.

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