Virginia Oct. 28 COVID-19 update: 1,345 new cases, 16 new deaths reported; case trend creeping up but mostly steady

Coronavirus

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia’s 7-day average of new coronavirus cases crept a bit higher on Wednesday to 1,140 new cases per day, after 1,345 new cases were reported.

That 7-day average is just below previous record peaks in August and late May, and slightly higher than a recent high of 1,131 cases on Oct. 14.

Virginia seems primed to surpass those peaks (just under 1,200 cases per day) as more people gather inside during colder weather, but it’s not clear if that will be a gradual increase or a possible spike up. Most of the new cases (and hospitalizations) are coming from Southwest Va.

Statewide numbers:

  • New cases: (+1,345, 176,754 total), case average and per capita rate fluctuating
  • New deaths (+16, 3,616 total), reported deaths up recently but deaths steady overall
  • Current hospitalizations (+13 patients, 1,068 total), trending up slightly overall
  • Testing (5.1% 7-day average of positive tests) slight trend up recently but steady overall, Virginia averaging around 18,000 tests per day

A model recently released by the University of Virginia predicted the former, with a projection of roughly 1,199 cases per day on average in the week ending Nov. 22, so right around Thanksgiving.

Though that prediction was based on recent trends, researchers say.

“Models are designed to project what could happen based on current trends but do not forecast what will happen. Behavioral responses drive changes in current trends,” the report on Oct. 16 read.

While those numbers are cause for concern, Virginia’s coronavirus metrics overall remain relatively stable and low compared to most states.

Virginia’s 13.4 case incident rate per 100,000 residents is one of the lowest in the country and its percent positivity rate (5.1%) is still fairly low, according to the New York Times’ coronavirus tracker. Other states are faring much worse, including Wisconsin and the rest of the Midwest. The U.S. as a whole is reporting record numbers of new cases (71,500 per day on average) and hospitalizations and deaths are going up.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. overall are up 46% compared to a month ago, straining hospitals and health care workers. Virginia’s hospitalizations have crept up slightly, but that’s mostly due to an large uptick in Southwest Va., where hospitals are also starting to have to limit elective surgeries to make room for COVID-19 patients.

Reported deaths, which lag hospitalizations, are going up across the country, though reporting can ebb and flow due to lag.

Virginia for example is shown as having an uptick on deaths, but that’s mainly due to lag.

VDH’s “death by date” of death graph, which shows the actual day a COVID-19 patient died, does appear to show a slight decrease in the white area of the chart, which starts about a month ago. After that the areas of the chart go into deeper shades of gray, meaning deaths in that range might not be reported yet. The “deaths by date of death” chart has followed this downward trend in the past, only for reported deaths to catch up and make the average in the white areas of the chart steady.

Here’s the latest cumulative count for Hampton Roads, where things have been stable for a while now

Accomack 1,214 cases, 97 hospitalized, 19 deaths (+3 cases, +1 hospitalized)
Chesapeake: 4,921 cases, 479 hospitalized, 79 deaths (+16 cases)
Franklin 498 cases, 25 hospitalized, 13 deaths (+3 cases)
Gloucester: 350 cases, 17 hospitalized, 3 deaths (+9 cases)
Hampton: 2,125 cases, 89 hospitalized, 32 deaths (+16 cases, +1 hospitalized)
Isle of Wight: 870 cases, 45 hospitalized, 26 deaths (+6 cases)
James City County: 954 cases, 68 hospitalized, 22 deaths (+3 cases)
Mathews: 135 cases, 10 hospitalized, 0 deaths (+1 case)
Newport News: 3,205 cases, 117 hospitalized, 51 deaths (+23 cases, +1 hospitalized)
Norfolk: 5,395 cases 410 hospitalized, 84 deaths (+26 cases, +3 hospitalized)
Northampton: 319 cases, 49 hospitalized, 31 deaths (no change)
Poquoson: 97 cases, 3 hospitalized, 2 deaths (no change)
Portsmouth: 2,838 cases, 311 hospitalized, 70 deaths (+14 cases, +3 hospitalized, +1 death)
Southampton: 923 cases, 29 hospitalized, 38 deaths (+2 cases)
Suffolk: 2,300 cases, 136 hospitalized, 78 deaths (+10 cases)
Virginia Beach: 7,926 cases, 432 hospitalized, 106 deaths (+45 cases, +1 death)
Williamsburg: 216 cases, 14 hospitalized, 9 deaths (+1 case)
York: 644 cases, 19 hospitalized, 9 deaths (+4 cases)

Key local metrics

  • 182 new cases, steady overall
  • 2 new deaths, steady overall
  • -5 hospitalizations (205 overall), steady overall
  • 7-day average of positive tests, 4.8, decreasing

Chesapeake — 4% — mostly steady overall (recent drop after 1,998 people tested Thursday)
Eastern Shore — 2.8% — steady and low overall, (low overall testing)
Hampton— 4% — mostly steady overall
Norfolk — 4.9% — mostly steady overall
Peninsula — 4.2% — mostly steady overall
Portsmouth — 5.1% — mostly steady overall
Virginia Beach — 4.1% —mostly steady overall (slight recent increase)
Western Tidewater — 4.8% — steady overall, back down after recent trend up

For more data from VDH, click here.

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