Health and Medicine

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Temperatures are forecast to again climb well into the 90’s later this week, and with that will come the return of concerns over heat-related illness. Virginia keeps track of heat exhaustion and heat stroke cases and shares them on line. Last year, health officials recorded more than 2,800 such cases brought into ER’s and urgent care centers statewide. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more:

Click here for the Virginia Department of Health Heat-Related Illness Surveillance website

The USDA Summer Food Service Program and Roanoke Parks and Recreation are providing meals over the summer to school age children. WFIR Intern Reporter Alex Powell has more:

Meals will be provided, on a first come, first serve basis, at the sites and times (Monday–Friday weekly) as follows:

Indian Rock Village June 21-August 12, 2022, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
(20e sites and times (Monday–Friday weekly) as follows:

Indian Rock Village June 21-August 12, 2022, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
(2034 Indian Village Lane)

Jamestown Place June 21-August 12, 2022, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
(1533 Pike Lane)

Landsdowne Park June 21-August 12, 2022, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
(2624 Salem Turnpike)

In addition, meals will be served at the following closed enrolled sites; meal service at these sites is limited to children enrolled in the program:

Apple Ridge Farm June 27-August 4, 2022,
(Rt. 796, Copper Hill Rd.) 8:00-9:00 a.m.,12:00-1:00 p.m.

Eureka Recreation Center June 21-August 12, 2022,
(1529 Carroll Ave.) 8:00-9:00 a.m., 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Grandin Court Center June 21-August 12, 2022,
(2621 Barham Rd.) 8:00-9:00 a.m., 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Preston Park Center June 21-August 12, 2022,
(3137 Preston Ave.) 8:00-9:00 a.m., 12:00-1:00 p.m.

 

Air conditioning contractors are especially busy this week, handling increased number of calls for help when the AC has gone out. Units are more likely to stress out and fail when working under the hottest of conditions, and contractors must be sure their employees avoid their own physical stress when working in the heat, especially in attics, as WFIR’s Evan Jones reports:

 

The Virginia Department of Health has revised its quarantine guidance for COVID-19, for non-high risk situations. If person is exposed to COVID-19, but has tested positive for and recovered from COVID-19 within the last 6 months, or is up to date on vaccines – or both – that person will no longer be recommended to quarantine, but rather should monitor for symptoms and follow isolation protocols should they appear. See full VDH release below.

(RICHMOND, VIRGINIA) – The following statement is from State Health Commissioner Colin M. Greene, MD, MPH, in regards to recent updates to Virginia Department of Health (VDH) guidance on COVID-19 isolation and quarantine.

“As COVID continues its progression from an acute pandemic to a more endemic state, we must continually reassess our recommendations to the public and our fellow agencies, considering not only potential disease effects, but also unintended non-clinical consequences of any restrictions. CDC evidence suggests that well over 75% of children possess post-infection immunity to COVID-19, in addition to any vaccine-derived protection. Adult rates of immunity, between vaccination and post-infection, likely exceeds 90%. Further, there is evidence that post-infection immunity may be effective for 6 months or longer. It is time to revisit some of our practices for groups that are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease, especially those whose side effect is a significant limitation of access to daycare, school, or work.

“Effective immediately, VDH will be revising its quarantine guidance for COVID-19. Specifically, for non-high risk situations, if a person is exposed to COVID-19, but has (1) tested positive for and recovered from COVID-19 within the last 6 months, or (2) is up to date on vaccines, or both, that person will no longer be recommended to quarantine, but rather should monitor for symptoms and follow isolation protocols should they appear. Note that this varies slightly from CDC guidance, which defines the post-infection immunity period as 90 days.

“This change will apply to the general public, including but not limited to settings such as K-12 schools and early childhood education settings. Out of an abundance of caution, we will retain the 90-day standard for higher-risk situations, including healthcare workers, staff and residents of long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters.

With hot summer weather once again with us, it’s important to remember that the elderly can be especially vulnerable head-related illnesses. That much is well-known, but the same warnings also apply to the youngest among us. It might sound counter-intuitive: young children with seemingly boundless energy being more at risk in hot conditions than most adults, but health officials say that is absolutely the case.  More from WFIR’s Evan Jones:

The months-long shortage of baby formula appears far from over, and the impact is often especially pronounced in rural areas like many in southwest Virginia. Parents of babies living in more remote parts of the region already face greater shopping challenges because their options are often far fewer — and at considerable distances just to get there. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more:

Dangerous summer heat has returned, and with it, warnings to be extra careful if you plan to spend any active time outdoors. At the Virginia Department of Health, Regional Spokesperson Christie Wills says in most years, abnormally hot conditions are responsible for more U.S. deaths than any other severe weather. She says the most important thing to do is drink plenty of water, and if you work or exercise in the heat, that means every 15 minutes. Wills says it is important to hydrate even if you do not feel thirsty, because the body does not always signal what it needs, even in extreme weather. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones:

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) – Officials say a Virginia-based hospital system has agreed to pay more than $4 million to settle claims that it committed multiple violations of the Controlled Substances Act between 2017 and 2020. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia said in a news release that Sovah Health also agreed to four years of increased compliance and oversight during which any failure to comply may lead to contempt of court findings that could result in additional monetary penalties and injunctive relief. The U.S. Attorney’s office says it is the third largest civil penalty ever secured from a hospital system under the act and the largest ever in the Fourth Circuit.

For many their mental health has been battered over the past two-plus years by COVID-19. Carilion Clinic Health Care workers were offered some relief last year via the “Healing the Essential Soul” series – it returns this year and now the public is welcome. More from WFIR’s Gene Marrano:

Each event offers a general theme to provide inspiration. No previous artistic experience is necessary. Bring your expressions of any artistic modality to share in this safe and supportive environment. All events take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m at Morningside Urban Farm.

Registration not required but suggested for head count purposes:

Register here

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