Holsworth: June 26, 2020, Virginia Covid-19 Update

Editor’s note: Bearing Drift is grateful to Dr. Bob Holsworth for permission to share his daily Virginia coronavirus updates. For more, follow him on Facebook.


1. The Big Question for Virginia

For the first few months of the pandemic, I had suggested that NOVA was the southern tip of the East Coast epicenter. Over the last few weeks, the dramatically declining case numbers in NOVA have mirrored the decline we’ve seen in places at the core of the epicenter-New York and New Jersey.

I’ve also noted that while the case decline in NOVA has been dramatic, this has not been true of ROVA (the rest of Virginia). Although we have not seen anything resembling a surge in RVA and Hampton Roads, there has not been a clear downward trend in cases in the last two weeks. In addition, we still see spikes or outbreaks in rural counties. often around prisons, specific workplaces, long-term care facilities, and close quarter living environs.

So where are we are in Virginia as we move into Phase 3 next week?

Are we an east coast state that has basically weathered the first stage of the pandemic? The hospitalization numbers and the declining test positivity scores suggest that we’re on a very different trajectory than the rest of the nation. Why not head out to the bars and restaurants for a drink and a good meal?

Or are we still vulnerable as other southern, southwest and western states have been revealed to be this week? Are the declining numbers in NOVA leading ROVA to become too complacent?

I don’t fully know the answer to this. There are very positive trends in Virginia, but ROVA never surged like NOVA and, at the moment, it’s not declining like NOVA.

2. Hospitalizations Steady, ICUs and Vents Down, Deaths Up

There were 862 COVID-19 patients hospitalized a week ago, 854 today. There were 251 patients in ICUs and 121 patients on ventilators a week ago, today the corresponding numbers are 219 and 99.

The number of COVID-19 deaths rose this week from 1602 to 1700, the largest increase in the last three weeks.

3. Confirmed Cases Inch Up, Test Positivity Ratio Still Declining

There were 3,777 confirmed cases in the last week, compared to 3,582 the previous seven days. The test positivity ratio continued to decline, the 7 day average now down to 5.8%.

We continue to see case decline in NOVA, though this is not obvious in ROVA. I do not know if the 138 cases reported yesterday in the Hampton Roads communities I follow is a reporting glitch, but it is the largest single day number in that region since reporting began.

Bottom Line – very positive news about NOVA; a caution flag for ROVA.

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