The number of new COVID-19 cases in Virginia and Northern Virginia seems to have stabilized over the past three days, but hospitalizations and deaths continue to soar, according to new reports Tuesday.

The Virginia Department of Health reported 56 new deaths statewide related to COVID-19 on Tuesday, tied for the third highest number of daily deaths reported since the pandemic began.  Reports of deaths typically trail the actual date of death by a week or more.  Nearly 4,500 Virginians have now died from the virus, and the country surpassed 300,000 total deaths on Monday. 

Meanwhile, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported Tuesday that a record 2,361 patients are being treated statewide for COVID-19, with a new high of 490 of them in intensive-care units. That is the seventh straight day that the number of hospitalizations has set a record.  

Of the hospitalized patients, 585 are in Northern Virginia, the most since May 31.   Northern Virginia's number of hospitalized patients peaked at 808 on April 30, but it had been below 200 earlier this fall.

Of the new deaths, 12 were in Northern Virginia: six in Fairfax County, three in Loudoun County, two in Prince William County and one in Manassas. 

The health department reported 3,160 new cases of coronavirus statewide on Tuesday, following 3,240 on Monday. The state's seven-day average is at 3,654.1, down from Saturday's record high of 3,920.3 but still up 55% over the past two weeks.

In Northern Virginia, 733 new cases were reported Tuesday, following 881 on Monday. The region's seven-day average is at 985.1, also down from its record high of 1,124.4 set on Saturday.

Northern Virginia data by locality (Dec. 15, 2020)

SOURCE: Virginia Department of Health

Locality Cases Hospitalizations Deaths
Alexandria 6,315 398 82
Arlington 7,525 615 164
Fairfax 37,386 2,698 647
Fairfax City 246 21 10
Falls Church 147 16 6
Loudoun 12,029 595 154
Manassas 2,600 145 29
Manassas Park 828 62 8
Prince William 21,431 1,148 244
Totals 88,507 5,698 1,344
County/City Cases Hospitalizations Deaths
Fredericksburg 853 59 7
Spotsylvania 3,818 190 58
Stafford 4,145 212 23
Fauquier 1,910 76 28
Culpeper 2,563 124 19

New restrictions imposed by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam took effect Monday. They include a curfew between midnight and 5 a.m., an enhanced mask mandate, and a cap on all social gatherings of 10 people, down from 25 previously. 

Average test positivity rates remain generally stable statewide and across the region, but still well above the lows of late September and early October. 

Seven-day average test positivity rate by health district (Dec. 15, 2020)

SOURCE: Virginia Department of Health

Health District Peak Low Current Trend
Alexandria 40.1% / April 23 3.2% / Oct. 18 8.7% Down
Arlington 42.8% / April 20 2.4% / June 26 8.0% Up
Fairfax 38.6% / April 22 3.3% / Oct. 16 10.7% Stable
Loudoun 27.9% / April 28 4.0% / Sept. 30 & Oct. 3 12.4% Up
Prince William 36.7% / April 18 5.4% / Oct. 20 15.6% Up
Rappahannock 17.2% / May 8 3.5% / July 3 11.8% Up
Statewide 20.6% / April 22 4.5% / Sept. 30, Oct. 1,2,12 & 13 11.2% Up


New Cases/Deaths

  • Northern Virginia: 733 new cases, 12 new deaths. 

  • Statewide: 3,160 new cases, 56 new deaths.

  • Statewide Testing: 25,743 PCR diagnostic test results reported.     

Overall Total

  • Northern Virginia: 88,507 cases, 1,344 deaths  

  • Statewide: 288,309 cases, 4,470 deaths

  • Statewide Testing: 3.75 million PCR diagnostic tests (4.39 million when including antibody and antigen tests)  

  • Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) cases: 12 

*Provided by Virginia Department of Health. The health department's COVID-19 data is updated each morning by 10 a.m. and includes reports by local health agencies before 5 p.m. the previous day.

Statewide Hospital and Nursing Home Data

  • Hospitalizations: 2,361 (up from 2,260 the previous day)

  • Peak Hospitalizations: 2,361 reached Dec. 15.

  • Patients in ICU: 490 (up from 458 the previous day and most since data first reported in early April)
  • Patients Discharged: 26,929 total

  • Nursing Home Patients: 1,336 (up from 1,265 on Saturday; no report Sundays or Mondays) 

*Provided by Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association

For updated national and international COVID-19 data, visit the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard.

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