Virginia Sept. 18 COVID-19 update: 1,242 new cases, 29 new deaths reported after backlog; Chesapeake drops below 5% positivity

Coronavirus

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia reported 1,242 new COVID-19 cases and 29 new COVID-19 deaths on Friday, about two weeks out from Labor Day weekend.

New cases are holding steady around 1,000 per day, with trends following a pattern of less cases reported earlier in the week and more closer to the weekend. Cases in Hampton Roads are still mostly steady, but have trickled up this week by about 10 cases per day.

The Virginia Department of Health said earlier this week it was inputting a backlogged of COVID-19 death data, and it appears to be the case still on Friday with the 29 new deaths added. 206 new deaths have been reported by VDH in the last four days.

Less and less people are being hospitalized due to the virus, with Virginia at its lowest level of current hospitalizations since a spike back in July due to a surge in Hampton Roads. Hospitalizations went down from 995 patients on Thursday to 945 on Friday.

Percent positivity dropped again to 6.6% statewide, down from 6.7% on Thursday. The biggest development is Chesapeake became the first local health district to drop back below 5% positivity, the benchmark the World Health Organization said back in May was needed to safely reopen. The city was as high as 13% just over 2 weeks ago. Virginia Beach and Norfolk are just above 5% (more on that below).

Here’s the latest cumulative count for Hampton Roads, where cases have been decreasing:

  • Accomack 1,167 cases, 89 hospitalized, 19 deaths (+4 cases, +1 hospitalized)
  • Chesapeake: 4,169 cases, 382 hospitalized, 66 deaths (+28 cases, +1 hospitalized, +8 deaths)
  • Franklin: 383 cases, 18 hospitalized, 9 deaths (+3 cases)
  • Gloucester: 225 cases, 13 hospitalized, 2 deaths (+1 case)
  • Hampton: 1,761 cases, 58 hospitalized, 21 deaths (+13 cases, +1 death)
  • Isle of Wight: 688 cases, 34 hospitalized, 16 deaths (+5 cases, +1 hospitalized)
  • James City County: 818 cases, 63 hospitalized, 19 deaths (+6 cases)
  • Mathews: 31 cases, 2 hospitalized, 0 deaths (+4 cases, +1 hospitalized)
  • Newport News: 2,638 cases, 90 hospitalized, 32 deaths (+9 cases)
  • Norfolk: 4,721 cases, 346 hospitalized, 67 deaths (+14 cases, +4 hospitalized)
  • Northampton: 305 cases, 49 hospitalized, 31 deaths (+1 case, +1 death)
  • Poquoson: 76 cases, 3 hospitalized, 2 deaths (+1 death)
  • Portsmouth: 2,500 cases, 268 hospitalized, 49 deaths (+11 cases, +2 hospitalized, +1 death)
  • Southampton: 526 cases, 21 hospitalized, 16 deaths (+1 case, +3 deaths)
  • Suffolk: 1,885 cases, 123 hospitalized, 70 deaths (+8 cases, +1 death)
  • Virginia Beach: 6,596 cases, 354 hospitalized, 78 deaths (+43 cases, +5 hospitalized)
  • Williamsburg: 170 cases, 12 hospitalized, 7 deaths (no change)
  • York: 520 cases, 16 hospitalized, 6 deaths (+6 cases, +1 hospitalized)

Key local metrics

  • 157 new cases, trending down
  • 16 new deaths, reported deaths up due to backlog, steady trend overall
  • -34 current hospitalizations, trending down
  • 7 day rate of positive tests (excluding Eastern Shore): 6.75%, trending down

Chesapeake — 4.7% — trending down (steep drop from 13% in late August)
Eastern Shore — 1.9% — low overall, (low overall testing)
Hampton— 5.7% — trending down (steep drop)
Norfolk — 5.2% — trending down (steep drop)
Peninsula — 5.2% — trending down (steep drop)
Portsmouth — 9.4% — trending down overall, but still relatively high
Virginia Beach — 5.1% — trending down
Western Tidewater — 10.6% — trending down overall, but still relatively high

A new poll released Thursday by Virginia Commonwealth University showed 66 percent of Virginians are against a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for residents and 40 percent said they don’t plan on getting a no-cost vaccine when it’s available.

For more information from VDH, click here.

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