WYTHEVILLE, Va. — The COVID-19 virus is now being transmitted through community spread in Wythe and Washington counties, health officials said Wednesday.

Robert Parker, public information officer for the Western Region of the Virginia Department of Health, said in a press release that both Wythe and Washington counties have documented community transmission, which means that the entire health district is now considered to have widespread community transmission.

As of Wednesday, six confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Wythe County along with 12 cases in Washington County, which includes the Abingdon area.

“Community transmission indicates that you can get COVID-19 from anywhere within the community; you don’t have to travel or know a person with the disease in order to get it. This means everyone should stay home and only go out for essential needs as rarely as possible,” Karen Shelton MD, Director, Mount Rogers Health District, said. “Southwest Virginia is not immune to COVID-19. If you have to go out for critical things like grocery shopping or medical care, wear a cloth face covering and stay at least six feet away from others. Wash your hands and clean surfaces often. These personal precautions apply to all of us – stay home!”

The CDC recommends everyone wear cloth face coverings when out in public in conditions that make social distancing difficult.

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