Virginia reported more than 1,200 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday morning, by far the largest 24-hour increase in new cases. Northern Virginia accounted for more than 66%.
The state reported 1,229 new cases, with 818 in Northern Virginia. The area has seen a testing blitz in recent days, but overall testing statewide was down in Thursday’s report from the Virginia Department of Health.
The state’s total number of COVID-19 cases is now 34,137. The Northern Virginia localities account for more than 55% of all cases, or 18,916.
The state also reported 25 new deaths Thursday, bringing the total to 1,099. Of those, 18 were in Northern Virginia, which accounts for more than half of the overall deaths at 580. The state's most populous locality, Fairfax County, has reported more than a quarter, 309, with 7 new deaths in Fairfax reported Thursday.
Northern Virginia reported 77 new hospitalizations, according to the state data, up from 44 new hospitalizations noted Wednesday. The number of new hospitalizations had been under 50 for more than a week.
Northern Virginia Data | May 21
The health department's COVID-19 data is updated each morning by 10 a.m. and includes cases, deaths and hospitalizations reported by local health agencies before 5 p.m. the previous day.
Gov. Ralph Northam has delayed lifting restrictions in Northern Virginia until at least May 29, and he said Wednesday there’s been no decision about whether the region will open on that date.
More testing and a smaller percentage of positive results will be key to allowing the region to reopen.
Average positivity rates over the past seven days range from 18.9% in Loudoun County to 25.9% in the Prince William Health District, where testing has increased significantly in recent days. Those numbers have come down slightly since Friday, when the Virginia Department of Health first began making them available by health district.
7-Day Positivity Percentage
|Health District||May 15||Today||Trend|
Statewide, 5,925 diagnostic test results were reported Thursday morning, down from 9,782 reported Wednesday.
The seven-day average positivity rate statewide is 14.4%. The state has reported 216,890 diagnostic test results in total and nearly 242,000 when including antibody tests.
Hospitalizations statewide dropped Thursday to 1,491, down from 1,536 on Wednesday, according to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. Thursday’s number is the lowest since May 4, and well below the high of 1,625 patients May 8. Hospitals still have capacity for around 8,000 additional patients in Virginia, according to the state health department.
Of those hospitalized for COVID-19, 1,001 are confirmed cases and 490 are being treated pending test results. The association reported that 351 patients are in ICU and 191 are on ventilators — both at near-record lows since reporting first began in early April. The association said 4,778 COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospitals in the state since the pandemic began.
The association also began reporting this week data on coronavirus patients and supply needs at licensed nursing homes in the state. It said 1,503 patients are being treated for COVID-19 within those facilities as of Thursday, up from 1,442 reported Wednesday.
In addition, a number of those facilities are reporting difficulty obtaining personal protective equipment within the next 72 hours, with 12 saying they are having difficulty obtaining N95 masks and 21 saying they are having difficulty obtaining isolation gowns.
The new information represents data reported voluntarily by 262 of the 287 licensed nursing homes in Virginia. Assisted living facilities are not included in the dashboard because they are licensed by the state Department of Social Services, not the health department.
The coronavirus that started in China in late 2019 has led to more than 328,600 deaths, including 93,439 deaths in the U.S., according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. More than 5 million cases of the virus have been reported, including more than 1.55 million cases in the U.S.
Johns Hopkins notes that more than 294,000 patients have recovered in the U.S. and more than 1.9 million have recovered worldwide.
As Virginia works to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Ralph Northam warned Wednesday of a spike in overdose cases since the start of 2020, reports WTOP.
The number of emergency overdose calls that dispatchers in Virginia have responded to in 2020 has already exceeded the total number of similar calls for all of 2019, Northam said.
The Prince William County Adult Detention Center is responding to an outbreak of COVID-19. As of Wednesday afternoon, 21 inmates and eight staff members had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Restaurants in Manassas could soon get more space to work with when they reopen. The city council has passed a resolution allowing for public parking and street space to be repurposed for outdoor dining.
When restrictions are eventually lifted in Northern Virginia, the first phase will allow restaurants to use 50% of their outdoor capacity.
The Fairfax County Park Authority and the county’s Department of Neighborhood and Community Services have canceled 2020 summer camp programs due to the COVID-19 crisis.