Holsworth: October 14, 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. Hospitalization Uptick Holds Steady

In my last post one week ago, I noted that hospitalizations had ticked upward to 1000 over cases. This had been a modest step up from the 850-950 cases that we had seen for the previous few weeks. Today, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) reported 1007 cases. This is nowhere near the surge we are seeing in the northern states, but we would have certainly preferred to see continued movement downward.

2. Cases Move Upward

In my last post, I reported a 4-day average of 772 new cases per day. The average over the last 6 days is 1012. Fortunately, the test positivity rate is still relatively steady at 4.6%, far lower than we are seeing in the northernmost Midwest states.

The case increase (and in some regions hospitalizations) is drawing concern from local health officials around the Commonwealth. In one sense, this is a repeat of what we have seen previously- several long-term care facilities and correctional institutions are reporting new cases.

At the same time. local officials note that gatherings among friends (at weddings, at a country club in Halifax, and at other celebrations) are precipitating case rise.

3. Michigan Militia Group Spoke about Kidnapping Governor Northam

The FBI noted yesterday in court testimony that the militia members who have been accused of a plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Whitmer and take Michigan state government hostage also discussed the possibility of “taking” Ralph Northam.

I was quoted in the Washington Post this morning noting that this should be a “wake-up call to politicians to consider the implication of their words. ” The President had invited people upset with COVID-19 restrictions to “liberate Michigan…liberate Virginia” and it appears that this group may have taken the injunction in an extraordinarily dangerous direction.

Anybody who gets involved in politics should be willing to accept the verbal slings and arrows that come with elections and debate over public policy. But organized violence against elected officials threatens the essence of democracy. At a time of intense polarization, individuals with a podium should take special care not to enable and empower groups that wish to substitute violence for votes.

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