BRHD reflects on 2 years since the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the district
BRHD reflects on 2 years since the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the district

BRHD reflects on 2 years since the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the district

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – It is two years since the first COVID-19 case was identified in the Blue Ridge Health District. Now it reflects on how it can use the experience when future outbreaks occur.

“Here in our health district, there have been nearly 44,000 people tested positive that we are aware of for COVID-19. During that period, we also lost 435 community members to COVID-19,” said BRHD Director Dr. Denise Bonds Wednesday, March 16th.

Bonds shed light on inequalities from the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would like to point out that this disease was out of proportion to members of our community, our color communities,” Bonds said. “Although black people make up 13% of our population and Latinos 5%, blacks compromised 28% of our admissions and 18% of deaths. So really a huge disproportionate impact on individuals. Seven percent of our admissions were among those who are Latino. “

BRHD says it continues to adapt from vaccines to mitigation strategies.

“We had to learn new things. We had to communicate in different ways. We had to deliver services in ways we had not really thought of before,” said BRHD Director of Policy and Planning Ryan McKay.

Since March 16, 2020, BRHD’s COVID-19 hotline has answered more than 80,000 calls.

“We wanted to make sure we gave equal access to the vaccine to people where they live in places where they are more comfortable,” McKay said.

From vaccinating people in tents to going home, McKay says the health department has come a long way.

“Our vaccination campaign brought four different systems to provide vaccine to those who really needed it,” he said.

Bonds says the learning continues.

“We are so much better prepared now than we were two years ago. We understand how COVID is transmitted. We have medication to alleviate the disease in both the inpatient and outpatient setting,” Bonds said.

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