Remain vigilant

11/12/2020, 6 p.m.
Our concern about the growing spike in COVID-19 cases nationally was heightened by reports this week of the local spread ...

Our concern about the growing spike in COVID-19 cases nationally was heightened by reports this week of the local spread of the coronavirus stemming from the election.

It seems outbreaks connected with the voter registrar’s offices in Richmond and Henrico have impacted a number of people, including Mayor Levar M. Stoney and members of his campaign staff, his mayoral opponent Alexsis E. Rodgers and others. They, along with 90 percent of the workers in city Registrar Kirk Showalter’s office, are now in quarantine because of contact with someone who was infected with the virus.

We hope those who have tested positive and those who are in quarantine will be well and safe.

It is a reminder to all of us that we need to continue to be on guard against COVID-19, a potentially fatal virus that has stricken more than 10 million people across the country — 1 million in the past week alone — and caused roughly 240,000 deaths.

In Virginia, the number of new coronavirus cases has exceeded 1,000 daily for the last two weeks, with 1,594 new cases reported in the 24 hours from Tuesday to Wednesday.

In Richmond, we have seen 388 new cases since last week, while the number of cases in Henrico is up by 298 since last week.

More than 13,200 hospitalizations have occurred in Virginia, along with 3,741 deaths, according to the state Department of Health.

We must be mindful of these numbers because the African-American and Latino communities continue to be disproportionately impacted both by the number of cases and deaths.

We also must remain vigilant because Thanksgiving is coming, a time we are used to sharing a holiday meal with and enjoying the company of family and loved ones. While that closeness brings comfort and joy during these rocky, uneven times, we must keep our guard up to protect ourselves from getting or spreading COVID-19.

For anyone planning to host or attend a holiday gathering, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds us to wear a mask, even indoors, and keep 6 feet away from others —including family members—who do not live with you.

The experts offer additional guidance:

If hosting a holiday gathering, limit the number of guests and try to hold it outdoors. If indoors, open windows and have family bring their own food, drinks, and disposable plates, cups and utensils. If sharing food, have one person serve it and use single-use condiment and salad dressing packets.

Limit the number of people in the kitchen or other food preparation areas. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and keep hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol available for use.

Make sure any activities, sports or games allow people to remain socially distanced.

Planning and talking with those closest to us will help us weather the storm.