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Holsworth: Oct. 7, 2020, Virginia Covid-19 Update

By Dr. Bob Holsworth

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].


1. Hospitalizations Up (unclear as to why)

The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) reported this morning that there are 1003 COVID-19 patients in hospitals. This is a clear step up from the 906 patients in my last post 4 days ago and from the 926 patients yesterday.

We will have to wait until the next 2 days to discover whether this is just a reporting glitch or a genuine uptick.

2. Cases Tick Downward, Test Positivity Steady

Over the last 4 days, the Virginia Department of Health has reported an average of 722 cases per day, down from 822 cases in my post 4 days ago.

The case decline is a reason that I am wondering whether the hospitalization increase is a genuine uptick.

The test positivity rate is relatively steady, inching up from 4.7% to 4.8%.

3. COVID-19, the Election and Wednesday’s VP Debate

Recent polls indicate that the Biden campaign is being propelled by public disapproval of and distrust in the President’s response to the pandemic.

Wednesday evening’s debate is probably more important than the typical vice-presidential matchup.

Mike Pence will be tasked with arresting the ticket’s decline in the polls. In 2016, Pence performed quite well in the vice-presidential debate with Tim Kaine. Tonight, his challenge might be more substantial – he will not only have to defend the administration’s pandemic performance but find a way to convince voters, especially women, who have jumped off the Trump train to re-embark. Not an easy task.

For Kamala Harris, she will have to assure voters that she is ready and capable of assuming the duties of President if anything befalls Joe Biden. With two septuagenarian presidential candidates in the middle of a pandemic, the public is likely to pay more attention to the capabilities of the number two person on the ticket. I have listened to a lot of commentary in the last few days about how Harris’ background will enable her to “prosecute” the case against the Trump/Pence administration. Okay- but I think it’s far more important for the ticket that viewers leave the evening with a comfort level about her presidential capacity than her prosecutorial talent.