COVID-19 hospitalizations declined for the third straight day Saturday and daily reported test results for the virus soared to over 6,700, both factors that Gov. Ralph Northam is considering when deciding whether and how to allow businesses to reopen and to ease stay-at-home restrictions.
Northam indicated Friday that he will announce a plan for reopening some businesses during a news conference Monday afternoon.
Saturday's report from the Virginia Department of Health identified 17,731 cases of coronavirus statewide, an increase of 830 from the day before. But state officials health acknowledged Friday that the increase is due in part to increased testing. Of the 6,792 test results reported Saturday, 12.8 percent were positive for the disease.
Meanwhile, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported that 1,426 Virginians were currently being treated in hospitals for confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus, down from 1,431 reported Friday and from a high of 1,566 on Wednesday.
The state updates case numbers each morning by 10 a.m. and include cases and deaths reported by local health agencies before 5 p.m. the previous day.
There were 35 additional deaths linked to COVID-19 in Friday’s report, bringing the total number of deaths statewide to 616.
Of the total cases, 16,979 have been confirmed by positive tests and another 752 have been identified as probable cases by the health department.
There have been 285 deaths in Northern Virginia linked to COVID-19, with 153 in Fairfax County, 46 in Arlington, 29 in Prince William County, 26 in Alexandria, 16 in Loudoun, four in Spotsylvania, two each in Fairfax City, Falls Church, Fauquier, Manassas and Stafford, and one in Manassas Park. Fairfax County has the most deaths in the state.
Northern Virginia, including the Fredericksburg area, accounts for more than half of the cases of the coronavirus statewide, with 9,673, an increase of 444 from the day before.
Northern Virginia cases, compared to the previous day’s total, include:
Fairfax County: 4,046, up from 3,897
Prince William County: 1,900, up from 1,781
Arlington: 1,044, up from 1,004
Loudoun: 881, up from 832
Alexandria: 848, up from 802
Stafford: 262, up from 251
Manassas: not available (222 prior day)
Spotsylvania: 174, up from 155
Fauquier: unchanged at 128
Manassas Park: 76, up from 68
Fredericksburg: 37, up from 34
Fairfax City: unchanged at 29
Falls Church: unchanged at 26
A total of 112,450 tests statewide have been completed since the pandemic began. The state health department changed the methodology for reporting tests Friday -- it was previously providing the number of people tested, rather than the number of actual tests. Some people have been tested more than once. On Saturday, the state said 101,344 unique individuals have been tested since the pandemic began.
In its report, the hospital association said there are 968 people hospitalized across the state with confirmed cases of COVID-19, up slightly from 963 the previous day, and another 458 patients awaiting COVID-19 test results, down from 468.
The association said 2,312 COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospitals in the state since the pandemic began.
Of the hospitalized COVID-19 patients, 375 are being treated in intensive care units across the state, and 202 are on ventilators. Those numbers have remained relatively low in recent days. State hospitals currently have 2,932 ventilators available, according to the report.
Only one hospital said it expected difficulty in replenishing its supply of personal protective equipment in the next 72 hours, another factor Northam has said will be considered when deciding whether to allow businesses to reopen.
The coronavirus that started in China in late 2019 has led to nearly 239,000 deaths, including 65,068 deaths in the U.S., according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. More than a quarter of the U.S. deaths, 18,399, have been in New York City. More than 3.36 million cases of the virus have been reported, including more than 1.1 million cases in the U.S.
Johns Hopkins notes that more than 164,000 patients have recovered in the U.S. and more than 1.06 million have recovered worldwide. Virginia has not been reporting figures on the number of patients recovered.
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