Virginia Jan. 28 COVID-19 update: 5,121 new cases, 80 new deaths; hospitalizations dip again but remain high


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia saw its COVID-19 hospitalizations fall again by 162 patients on Thursday, but reported more than 5,000 new cases and 80 new deaths, and COVID-19 hospitalizations still remain high overall (some of that drop can be attributed to deaths).

Hospitalizations in nearly every state have dropped recently as the U.S. overall sees dropping virus numbers. However virus levels overall are still much higher than any point of the pandemic, and COVID-19 hospitalizations are still about twice as high as previous peaks. There’s also concern the change in direction might not last.

Virginia is actually in the top ten nationally for highest coronavirus cases per capita, in this week’s White House COVID-19 report, which the Biden administration made public Wednesday. It’s actually one of just three states in which cases are considered high and still trending up, per the New York Times’ coronavirus tracker.

Cases are expected to continue to rise into February, which prompted Gov. Ralph Northam to extend current coronavirus restrictions through at least the end of February. Restrictions of some sort are expected to continue until at least the summer. Northam has not added additional restrictions since December, and it does not seem likely he’ll add more.

Statewide numbers

  • New cases: (+5,121 493,674 total), back up slightly after reporting down last week, still high (4,867 per day on average, record is 6,166)
  • Case incidence rate: 55.3 per 100K people, back down down recently, but still among 10 highest states for case rates per population
  • New deaths (+80, 6,308 total), trending up overall (53 per day on average), 93 reported on Tuesday
  • Current hospitalizations (-162, 2,706 total), down slightly recently, but still high and near peak
  • Testing (12.2% 7-day average of positive tests),trending down last three weeks, averaging around 31K tests per day
  • Doses administered (602,983, 26,010 on average78,261 fully vaccinated, 6.1% with at least one dose (not updated yet for Thursday)
  • Doses distributed (1,156,500), only about shots now up to about 130,000 week from federal government, a 16% increase

The small good news in the short-term is that Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccine doses have increased by 16%, a number that’s now locked in so Virginia can gauge their doses out monthly as opposed to being unsure about weekly doses allotments.

Though supply is still limited overall, about 130,000 doses per week. Virginia needs 350,000 to reach its goal of 50,000 vaccines per day. Virginia officials however say they’re prepped for more distribution and are working on streamlining the process to get the vaccine to health providers and in people’s arms. That includes an upcoming state website to sign up for vaccines, instead of going to separate local health districts.

Virginia is now in the 1b phase for vaccines, but is still vaccinating 1a, including nursing home residents. Virginia officials said skilled nursing homes were set to complete vaccinations by the end of January/early February.

The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) said data as of Jan. 26 shows Virginia hospitals have administered 317,837 COVID-19 vaccine doses. VHHA provides weekly vaccination updates on its dashboard.

Local cases

Cases still remain elevated locally near record levels, though some places have seen slight drops in their percent of positive tests coming back.

  • Accomack: 2,301 cases, 160 hospitalized, 31 deaths (+6 cases, +1 hospitalized)
  • Chesapeake: 15,078 cases, 715 hospitalized, 132 deaths (+216 cases, + 6 hospitalized, +4 death)
  • Franklin: 834 cases, 43 hospitalized, 21 deaths (+4 cases)
  • Gloucester: 1,432 cases, 41 hospitalized, 24 deaths (+16 cases,+1 hospitalized)
  • Hampton: 7,002 cases, 226 hospitalized, 63 deaths (+101 cases, +1 hospitalized, +1 death)
  • Isle of Wight: 2,103 cases, 98 hospitalized, 38 deaths (+17 cases,)
  • James City County: 3,366 cases, 112 hospitalized, 37 deaths (+97 cases)
  • Mathews: 421 cases, 16 hospitalized, 6 deaths (+6 cases)
  • Newport News: 9,534 cases, 243 hospitalized, 87 deaths (+133 cases, +1 hospitalized)
  • Norfolk: 12,549 cases, 672 hospitalized, 141 deaths (+149 cases, +3 hospitalized, +2 deaths)
  • Northampton: 615 cases, 63 hospitalized, 33 deaths (+4 cases)
  • Poquoson: 583 cases, 16 hospitalized, 7 deaths (+8 cases)
  • Portsmouth: 6,434 cases, 497 hospitalized, 96 deaths (+102 cases,+3 hospitalized)
  • Southampton: 1,679 cases, 41 hospitalized, 46 deaths (+18 cases)
  • Suffolk: 5,620 cases, 300 hospitalized, 109 deaths (+89 cases, +5 hospitalized, +1 death)
  • Virginia Beach: 25,529 cases, 1,067 hospitalized, 201 deaths (+330 cases, +20 hospitalized, +6 deaths)
  • Williamsburg: 429 cases, 24 hospitalized, 9 deaths (+5 cases)
  • York: 2,485 cases, 41 hospitalized, 16 deaths (+37 cases)

Key local metrics

  • 1,338 new cases, steady around peak levels
  • 14 deaths, trending up and at record levels
  • 731 total current hospitalizations, trending down slightly but still near record
  • Test positivity: 17.7%, trending back down overall but still high

Test positivity (Sunday’s numbers)

  • Chesapeake — 20% — trending back down
  • Eastern Shore — 17% — steady after trending back down
  • Hampton — 18.5% —  back up slightly
  • Norfolk — 17.4% — steady around 17% mark
  • Peninsula — 15.8% — trending back down
  • Portsmouth — 20.8% — fluctuating around 20%
  • Virginia Beach — 16.2% — trending back down
  • Western Tidewater —16.1% — trending back down

Click here to view more coronavirus data from the Virginia Department of Health.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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