Health officials in the Roanoke-Alleghany region are cautiously optimistic as new COVID-19 cases have dropped below 200 for the first time in weeks.
 
The number of new cases in the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts over the past week was 194, bringing the cumulative total to 23,255.
 
Moreover, hospitalizations tailed off a bit over the past week. On Monday, 26 people in the health districts were hospitalized with severe  COVID-19 symptoms — 15 were new admissions.
 
“It’s cautious optimism that our case count has gone down a little bit, and our hospitalizations are down,” said Dr. Cynthia Morrow, medical director of the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts.
 
Morrow held her weekly media briefing on Tuesday.
 
“But I do think that we need to remain cautious. We know that case counts are high in other parts of the country and hospitalization rates are higher in other parts of the country,” she said.
 
That means the public needs to continue COVID-19 mitigation practices, which include wearing face coverings, maintaining six feet of social distancing, and getting vaccinated against the virus.