Virginia Nov. 16 COVID-19 update: 2,677 new cases reported due to ‘catch-up’; Hampton Roads’ positivity rates climbing


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia added 2,677 new coronavirus cases to its overall count on Monday, but health officials say the unusually large increase is “due to a catch-up from the VDH data system being down for upgrades for a few hours over the weekend.”

Though cases are still rising overall on average. Virginia’s daily average is now at 1,594 cases per day, double the case average of early last month.

Statewide numbers:

New cases: (+2,677, 204,637 total), large daily increase due to backlog, VDH says
New deaths (+6, 3,806 total), deaths down from levels over the summer, steady overall around 10 per day
Current hospitalizations (+53 patients, 1,337 total), trending up overall, almost at highest point in three months
Testing (7.3% 7-day average of positive tests), trending up, Virginia averaging around 20,000 tests per day, percent positivity up by more than 2% compared to last month

Reported cases are always on some sort of delay, with the Virginia Department of Health’s “cases by date of symptom onset” showing the rise of when people first reported symptoms. Cases in the gray areas of the chart usually take a few days to report.

Virginia’s increase in cases isn’t just the result of increased testing, the percent of positive tests has also gone up in the meantime, including in Hampton Roads (6.7%).

Hospitalizations are nearing their highest numbers in about three months, and are only about 300 patients below peak levels from back in May.

Deaths are well below numbers Virginia saw back in May, mainly due to better treatments and more younger people getting infected, but having more people hospitalized is not a good sign, especially if health care workers are overworked. Deaths typically lag cases by about a month, so people getting infected now could be in the hospital by Thanksgiving and possibly dead by Christmas.

Health officials are sounding the alarm about the increases in Virginia and nationwide, saying people should forgo large family gatherings for Thanksgiving and Christmas, in order to flatten the curve once again without major lockdowns.

The good news is at least two promising COVID-19 vaccines are on the way, with effectiveness around 90%, drug makers Pfizer and Moderna say. We’ll just have to wait a few more months before they’re available for the general public.

Local cases

Hampton Roads reported more than 500 new coronavirus cases on Monday, but again those included some not reported this weekend.

The region is seeing its percentage of positive tests increasing steadily, showing there’s uncontrolled spread. Hospitalizations are also trending back up again.

Latest cumulative numbers for Hampton Roads:

Accomack 1,258 cases, 102 hospitalized, 21 deaths (+3 cases)
Chesapeake: 5,559 cases, 503 hospitalized, 79 deaths (+53 cases, +1 death)
Franklin 529 cases, 27 hospitalized, 15 deaths (+2 cases)
Gloucester: 383 cases, 19 hospitalized, 3 deaths (+1 case, +1 hospitalized)
Hampton: 2,432 cases, 107 hospitalized, 34 deaths (+56 cases, +1 hospitalized)
Isle of Wight: 933 cases, 50 hospitalized, 27 deaths (+5 cases)
James City County: 1,064 cases, 72 hospitalized, 22 deaths (+23 cases)
Mathews: 147 cases, 12 hospitalized, 0 deaths (no changes)
Newport News: 3,568 cases, 125 hospitalized, 53 deaths (+59 cases)
Norfolk: 5,965 cases, 425 hospitalized, 87 deaths (+93 cases)
Northampton: 332 cases, 49 hospitalized, 31 deaths (+2 cases)
Poquoson: 119 cases, 3 hospitalized, 2 deaths (+4 cases)
Portsmouth: 3,021 cases, 345 hospitalized, 70 deaths (+24 cases)
Southampton: 953 cases, 29 hospitalized, 39 deaths (+1 case)
Suffolk: 2,535 cases, 152 hospitalized, 79 deaths (+12 cases, +2 hospitalized)
Virginia Beach: 9,384 cases, 477 hospitalized, 111 deaths (+220 cases, +1 death)
Williamsburg: 257 cases, 15 hospitalized, 8 deaths (+9 cases)
York: 759 cases, 26 hospitalized, 9 deaths (+14 cases, +1 hospitalized)

Key local metrics

  • 561 new cases, trending up, but large increase due in part to backlog
  • 2 new deaths, trending down overall
  • +9 current hospitalized (204 total), slight trend up but mostly steady overall
  • Percent of positive tests: 6.7%, below state average but trending up

Positivity rates

  • Chesapeake — 8.6% — trending up sharply, up 3% compared to last month
  • Eastern Shore — 5.2% — steady overall but a slight increase recently
  • Hampton — 7.9% —  trending up
  • Norfolk — 6.5% — trending up
  • Peninsula — 4.8% — mostly steady overall
  • Portsmouth — 6.9% — trending up
  • Virginia Beach — 7.3% — trending up
  • Western Tidewater — 6.5% — trending up

For more info from VDH, click here.

Nationally, the U.S. is continuing to report record numbers of new cases and hospitalizations, with several states’ hospital systems at their limits. Deaths are also increasing nationwide.

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