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Galax in ‘Red Zone’ for virus

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Galax in 'Red Zone' for virus

Galax is usually known for its green hills and its prime location in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but the COVID-19 pandemic has painted the city a harsh shade of red in recent weeks. Harvard Global Health Institute lists Galax as one of Virginia’s six “red zone” areas. As local cases of coronavirus continue to rise, health officials are placing Galax in a “red zone” of the nation’s hotspots.

A recent internal memo from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) ranks Galax as ninth on a list of 10 places described as “areas of concern,” meaning that a locality’s “disease burden is high and still growing.”

And, according to a study by the Harvard Global Health Initiative, Galax is in the same red color-coded category – the highest of four risk levels – as states like Florida and Arizona, which are experiencing unchecked community spread and widespread outbreaks of the virus.

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The July 9 CDC internal document – sent to other federal agencies but not made public – was leaked to multiple news sources last week. It revealed the results of a study of incidences of COVID-19 over two weeks (June 23-July 7) and the change in daily incidences. According to the CDC data, Galax is one of 10 areas in the United States poised to become the next virus hotspots.

The report drew the attention of The New York Times, which noted that the CDC found that 54 new COVID-19 cases had been reported in Galax in the past two weeks – nearly 20% of the city’s total case count for that time. Also, Galax saw a 5.5% daily increase in […]

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