COVID-19 infections continue to rise at record rates

Floyd County suffered its highest one-day hit of COVID-19 virus infections Saturday with 15 new infections added by the Virginia Department of Health’s daily report that also shows Virginia’s case count rising by 3,173.

Cases in the Roanoke Valley rose by 94 and by 64 in Montgomery County. Floyd County now has 343 cases total.

The sharp increases come before an even-higher spike expected after those who ignored warning about traveling over the Thanksgiving weekend to spend the holidays with loved ones.

Nationwide, nine states report a death rate of at least one COVID-19 infected person out of every 1,000 residents as the United States surpassed 13 million known cases of the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, estimates that only 1 in 7 coronavirus infections nationwide have been reported. The CDC says the “real count” could be more than 50 million.

The nine hardest-hit states are South Dakota, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Mississippi and North Dakota.

Any increases from Thanksgiving travel and gathering are not expected to begin showing up until next week.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautions Americans to expected subdued celebrations of Christmas and New Year’s.

“If the surge takes a turn of continuing to go up and you have the sustained greater than 100,000 infections a day and 1,300 deaths per day and the count keeps going up and up. I don’t see it being any different during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays than during Thanksgiving,” he told USA Today on Friday.