Holsworth: August 18, 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

Hospitalizations are moderately down from both my last report 4 days ago and from this time last week. There were 1,253 COVID-19 patients the report this morning from the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. There were 1,299 patients 4 days ago and 1,293 one week ago.

Yet the number of patients in ICUs and on ventilators is moderately up. Today there are 300 patient in ICUs, compared to 268 4 days ago and 280 at this time last week. There are 160 patients on ventilators compared to 150 4 days ago and 148 at this time last week.

2. Confirmed Cases

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) had the following message on its website this morning. “For the week of August 16, VDH anticipates an influx of new data. This development is due to some labs beginning to report results electronically as opposed to by fax. These new numbers do not represent new data and will be represented on the day the lab originally reported the results.”

An English translation did not accompany the statement. I will report the case numbers as I typically do, though I cannot say if it represents “an influx of new data” or not.

For the last 4 days, VDH reported 912-937-734-861 new cases. The 7 day average is 933 cases, down from 1,142 cases 2 weeks ago.

In addition the test positivity percentage is down to 6.8% from 7.2% 4 days ago.

The most notable change is the cooling down of the Hampton Roads hot spot. Today’s number of 140 cases in Hampton Roads is actually lower than the 145 cases in RVA and is considerably lower than the 300-400 cases regularly seen a few weeks ago.

3. Deaths

There were 50 deaths the last 7 days, down from 100 deaths the previous week and far lower than the 20 per day we had seen in the preceding weeks.

This is very encouraging, though I should note that the 300 patients in ICUs is the largest number since June 14 and the 160+ patients that have been on ventilators for the past week are the largest numbers since the first week of June.

4. Campus Re-Openings

Students moved in on several college campuses this week and administrators are hoping to avoid the fate of UNC. Within a week of the students returning to Chapel Hill, 377 were in isolation and nearly 500 were quarantining as a consequence of COVID-19 outbreaks in three dorms and a fraternity house. Calling the situation untenable, the administration threw in the towel and moved all classes to a virtual format.

I’m a proud Chapel Hill grad, but I’m hoping that students in the Commonwealth act more responsibly. I remained worried, however, that institutions built to nurture social networking can enforce social distancing.

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