Sentara's Chief Physician Executive puts out public plea after rise in coronavirus cases

Posted at 1:37 PM, Jul 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 16:13:50-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Virginians saw an uptick on Friday of coronavirus cases. The Virginia Department of Health is reporting more than 900 new cases, 351 of which are in Hampton Roads.

"The Hampton Roads area did a wonderful job of taking things seriously the past couple of months, but that trend is now reversing, and we have become a lot more lax," said Dr. Jordan Asher, Chief Executive Physician with Sentara Healthcare.

Friday, Asher made a plea for the public after the highest increase of cases since June 7.

"We are seeing this in younger populations under age 40 and especially in Norfolk and Virginia Beach are in the 20-29 age range," he said.

He attributes that to millennials out enjoying summer activities. They are now not only testing positive and landing in the hospital, but could be carrying the virus then putting the most vulnerable at risk.

"Please, don't go to a big gathering unmasked then go decide to see your parents," said Asher. "If you see a packed bar, restaurant or big gathering, try to avoid it."

Simple behavior changes says Asher, are the key to reversing the trend of rising cases. His ask: Keep the mask on.

"The masks everyone is wearing out don't prohibit oxygen from flowing back and forth," he said. "It keeps those particles that might be carrying the virus from getting to far out from where my mouth is and nose."

He stresses not to go out for long periods of time if you don't have to.

"The best way to avoid that spread is really social distancing," said Asher. "The key is we just have to think about what we are doing and what is most safe to get our kids back in schools and our economy up and running."

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