Virginia July 29 COVID-19 update: 999 new cases, 30 new deaths reported statewide; hospitalizations jump again


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia is reporting its highest current COVID-19 hospitalization numbers in nearly two months, 1,350 patients, after another jump in hospitalizations from Tuesday to Wednesday.

The Virginia Hospital and Health Association has reported 150 new hospitalizations in the last two days. About 3,600 inpatient beds are still available statewide.

ICU usage (276 patients) is down from earlier in the pandemic, but the VHHA says 79% of ICU beds inside hospitals are occupied statewide. However with additional surge beds, overall ICU occupancy is at 53%. 22% of the state’s ventilators are in use.

Simultaneously 100 new patients were discharged from the hospital statewide between Tuesday and Wednesday, and 1,350 COVID-19 patients in total have gone home after being hospitalized.

77 of the new patients in the last two days were in Hampton Roads. The region has the most COVID-19 patients (554) of any region in the state. Sentara says its hospitals are seeing an increase in COVID-19 patients and it has “robust emergency management and surge plans in place should they need to be activated.”

Statewide numbers:

  • New cases: (+999  87,993 total) — trending up overall
  • New deaths (+30, 2,125 total) — Daily reported deaths lag “Deaths by day of death,” the metric that shows the actual day a COVID-19 patient died, is well below the peak of 37 per day in early May, but trending back up
  • Hospitalizations (+56, 1,350 total) — trending up overall after falling to low of 783 patients on July 6, ICU and ventilator numbers still low, 11,650 patients discharged since start of pandemic
  • Testing (7.1% positive tests overall) — Back down after going up to 7.9% on July 18, averaging nearly 17,000 tests per day

999 new cases were also reported statewide Wednesday, below the 7-day average of 1,086.

30 new deaths were reported, which is well above the 7-day average of 11 per day, but that can be attributed to a lag in reporting. “Deaths by day of death,” which shows the day a COVID-19 patient actually died, has mostly trended down since early May, however its 7-day average is trending back up slightly.

Deaths, which lag hospitalizations, have been down overall statewide and nationally because of better hospital outcomes and younger people contracting the virus.

Hampton Roads reported fewer cases (422) than its average on Wednesday, but did report 7 new deaths, its most in a day since June 9. Gov. Northam announced new restrictions on Tuesday to curb the spread of the virus in the region, including prohibiting the serving of alcohol after 10 p.m. and shutting down restaurants at midnight.

Here’s the latest count for Hampton Roads and the whole Tidewater region (numbers are cumulative)

Accomack: 1,072 cases, 77 hospitalized, 15 deaths (+3 cases, +1 hospitalized)
Chesapeake: 2,348 cases, 199 hospitalized, 27 deaths (+72 cases, +4 hospitalized, +1 death)
Franklin: 115 cases, 7 hospitalized, 6 deaths (+1 cases, +1 death)
Gloucester: 138 cases, 12 hospitalized, 2 deaths (+1 death)
Hampton: 963 cases, 49 hospitalized, 4 deaths (+25 cases, +1 hospitalized)
Isle of Wight: 318 cases, 20 hospitalized, 9 deaths (+4 cases)
James City County: 525 cases, 59 hospitalized, 16 deaths (+7 cases)
Mathews: 12 cases, 2 hospitalized, 0 deaths
Newport News: 1,519 cases, 71 hospitalized, 15 deaths (+30 cases)
Norfolk: 2,937 cases, 164 hospitalized, 22 deaths (+123 cases, +2 hospitalized, +2 deaths)
Northampton: 297 cases, 45 hospitalized, 28 deaths ( -1 case)
Poquoson: 34 cases, 2 hospitalized, 0 deaths
Portsmouth: 1,390 cases, 114 hospitalized, 21 deaths (+23 cases, +3 hospitalized)
Southampton: 229 cases, 12 hospitalized, 12 deaths
Suffolk: 989 cases, 91 hospitalized, 48 deaths (+15 cases, +1 hospitalized, +2 deaths)
Virginia Beach: 3,908 cases, 192 hospitalized, 43 deaths (+120 cases, +1 hospitalized)
Williamsburg: 105 cases, 12 hospitalized, 6 deaths
York: 290 cases, 14 hospitalized, 3 deaths (+3 cases)

Key local metrics

  • 425 new cases (422 in Hampton Roads) — lower than 7-day average of (457)
  • 7 new deaths (7-day average: 2.7)
  • +10 new current hospitalizations via Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (554 total in Eastern District)
  • 13 new VDH reported hospitalizations (lags from VHHA current hospitalizations) — below 7-day average
  • 7-day percent of positive tests (11.35%) — trending back down

7-day positivity rates

Chesapeake – 13.5% — overall trending up
Eastern Shore – 6.3% — trending back up, but low overall (low overall testing)
Hampton – 9 % — trending down after increased testing
Norfolk – 12% — trending down from high of 17% reported on July 12
Peninsula — 6.9% — trending down after going up to 11.5% on July 17
Portsmouth — 16.7 % — trending down slightly, still high
Virginia Beach — 10.7% — trending back down after going up to 12.1% on July 16
Western Tidewater — 10.7% — trending up

The percent of positive tests was a big factor in Northam’s decision to add restrictions to Hampton Roads. Its percentage was as high as 13% overall, but has been trending back down. 10% was the original benchmark from Virginia leaders for safely reopening under phase 1, but health experts say 5% and lower is the goal for limiting community spread.

For more information from the Virginia Department of Health, click here.

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