By Heather Bell
RADFORD – At its recent meeting, the Radford City Council received an update from Ashley Briggs,
Public Health Director and Coordinator of the NRV Business Continuity Team, about the state of
business in the region in the pandemic world and the current COVID trends in the community.
Briggs reported that 40.1 percent of the population of the City of Radford has been fully vaccinated,
coming in below Montgomery, Pulaski, and Floyd counties, the New River Health District, and the State
Briggs said the percentage “is not good, but it is getting there.”
“The more people that get vaccinated the better,” Briggs said. “We’re really trying to get to that 70-80
percent, especially with the Delta variant.”
Briggs said the city’s percentage may be somewhat skewed due to how Radford University students are
counted census-wise versus where their vaccinations are recorded, and she hopes to have more data
gathered on that front soon. She also said hospitalizations in the New River Health District are almost
exclusively people who have not been vaccinated.
“Right now, 98 percent of hospital admissions are unvaccinated people,” she said.
Briggs said she thinks the height of delta variant positive cases is almost behind the city.
“While we would prefer to be behind this, we aren’t quite yet,” she said. “Please encourage folks to get
the vaccine. Kids under the age of 12 can’t be vaccinated yet, and we can help them and help prevent
spread [with vaccinations].”
Briggs also advised wearing masks in indoor situations for the time being. The City of Radford
Recreation Center and the Radford Public Library are currently requiring masks, as are all Radford City
Public School buildings.
Following Monday’s meeting, Radford Mayor David Horton released a message to the community with
the following advice:
“Vaccinate – If you are able to get the vaccine, please do so. It is one of our best tools to help keep folks
out of the ICU and from passing away. The FDA has fully approved the Pfizer vaccine. Most cases are
among the unvaccinated. There are breakthrough cases, but those who are vaccinated don’t typically have
as much of a problem overcoming the disease.
“Masks indoors – This helps slow the spread among the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. We are all sick
of masks, but they are an important part of helping reduce spread.
“Barriers and social distancing where possible – Anything that can help spread out distance between
people indoors will protect patrons of businesses as well as employees.
“Please visit the Road to Wellness for more information,” Horton said. “Our goal is to keep citizens safe
and businesses open.”
The Business Continuity Team is administered through the New River Valley Regional Commission.