Holsworth: August 3, 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. Hospitalizations Steady for Week, Down this Weekend

The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association’s (VHHA) report today had 1205 COVID-19 patients in hospitals today, down from 1334 on my last post on Friday.

For the week, hospitalizations are steady – 1200 last Monday and 1206 today. I’ve seen numbers decline because of weekend reporting before, so I’m reluctant to place much emphasis on the last three days until we get more information tomorrow and Wednesday.

2. Cases Rise, Test Positivity Inches Down

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported 1,324 new confirmed cases today. The other two days since my last report had 913 and 981 new cases.

The test positivity percentage inched down from 7.2% to 7.1%.

Dr. Debra Birx said yesterday that the virus has entered a new phase where it is more widespread than it was in March and April.

This is certainly the case in Virginia. While the numbers in NOVA have declined significantly, we continue to see cases emerging across the Commonwealth. Hampton Roads has the most case numbers among the 3 major metros for the past few weeks.

Outside the major metros, Bedford-Lynchburg, Henry County, Danville-Pittsylvania, and Washington County are all now dealing with case rise.

3. What about RVA?

I’ve yet to figure this one out.

At the beginning of the pandemic, there were large numbers in Henrico as a result of issues occurring in long-term care facilities.

For a few days at the end of May, we also saw case rise of 175-215 in the RVA communities. But then it declined and RVA hasn’t see the kind of spike that occurred for months in NOVA or recently in Hampton Roads.

Does this mean that we will avoid the brunt of the virus?

Or has the full impact not arrived?

For the last two weeks, we have seen approximately 1000 cases per week, an increase for the approximately 700-800 cases for the previous month. Are these the result of more testing? Or an indication that the situation is worsening?

In the next 10 days, the return of VCU students to campus will add another element to the RVA mix.

At a minimum, the numbers suggest that we should act with heightened vigilance, at least until we gain a fuller understanding of the trends.

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