Virginia Sept. 21 COVID-19 update: Percent positivity now down to 5.7% statewide, 0 new deaths locally as VDH finishes adding backlog


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia’s percentage of positive COVID-19 tests continues to steadily decline, having dropped by about two percentage points in the last two weeks to 5.7% overall.

That’s the lowest the state’s 7-day average has been since late June. At that time the state’s percent positivity went back up and hovered between 6-8% for two months.

Hampton Roads is slightly above that percentage at 6.38%, but that’s raised by higher than average percent positivity in Portsmouth and Western Tidewater (Suffolk, Franklin, etc.)

Hampton Roads now has multiple local health districts in the “green zone” of 5% or lower, the benchmark for safely reopening according to the World Health Organization, including Virginia Beach, Norfolk and the Peninsula. Portsmouth and Western Tidewater are still above 10%, meaning virus spread is not being contained.

Reported new cases were also lower on Monday (627), but cases are typically lower on Mondays due to reporting lag.

Statewide numbers:

New cases: (+627, 141,138 total), steady around 1,000 cases per day
New deaths (+6, 3,021 total), VDH said backlogged deaths were being added through Sept. 21. “Deaths by date of death” steady overall, but increase around August 20, and another spike on Sept. 15.
Hospitalizations (+56 patients, 995 total), trending down overall, but largest one-day increase in weeks
Testing (5.7% 7-day average of positive tests), steep recent downward trend

Hospitalizations, though still going down overall, spiked up by 56 patients between Sunday and Monday, the highest jump in a day in weeks. 39 of those patients were in Hampton Roads.

Relatively fewer deaths were reported Monday (6) compared to recent days. VDH said its backlog of deaths was being inputted through Monday.

Here’s the latest cumulative count for Hampton Roads

  • Accomack 1,167 cases, 89 hospitalized, 19 deaths (+1 case)
  • Chesapeake: 4,212 cases, 389 hospitalized, 68 deaths (+14 cases, +4 hospitalized)
  • Franklin 387 cases, 18 hospitalized, 9 deaths (+2 cases)
  • Gloucester: 228 cases, 13 hospitalized, 2 deaths (no change)
  • Hampton: 1,782 cases, 63 hospitalized, 21 deaths (+2 cases, +4 hospitalized)
  • Isle of Wight: 702 cases, 34 hospitalized, 17 deaths (+5 cases)
  • James City County: 831 cases, 64 hospitalized, 19 deaths (+3 cases)
  • Mathews: 37 cases, 3 hospitalized, 0 deaths (no change)
  • Newport News: 2,681 cases, 91 hospitalized, 33 deaths (+7 cases, +1 hospitalized)
  • Norfolk: 4,745 cases, 352 hospitalized, 68 deaths (no change)
  • Northampton: 305 cases, 49 hospitalized, 31 deaths (no change)
  • Poquoson: 76 cases, 3 hospitalized, 2 deaths (no change)
  • Portsmouth: 2,525 cases, 271 hospitalized, 53 deaths (+3 cases, +1 hospitalized)
  • Southampton: 575 cases, 21 hospitalized, 22 deaths (+37 cases)
  • Suffolk: 1,897 cases, 123 hospitalized, 71 deaths (+4 cases)
  • Virginia Beach: 6,656 cases, 355 hospitalized, 79 deaths (+12 cases)
  • Williamsburg: 175 cases, 12 hospitalized, 7 deaths (no change)
  • York: 532 cases, 16 hospitalized, 6 deaths (+4 cases)

Key local metrics

  • 94 new cases, trending down
  • 0 new deaths, “deaths by date of death” steady
  • +39 patients currently hospitalized (286 total), trending down overall
  • 7 day rate of positive tests (excluding Eastern Shore): 6.38%, trending down

Chesapeake — 4.6% — trending down (steep drop)
Eastern Shore — 1.9% — low overall, (low overall testing)
Hampton— 5.5% — trending down (steep drop)
Norfolk — 3.8% — trending down (steep drop)
Peninsula — 4.2% — trending down (steep drop)
Portsmouth — 11.7% — trending back up
Virginia Beach — 4.5% — trending down
Western Tidewater — 10.4% — steady around 10%

So as of Monday there are many encouraging signs for Hampton Roads and the rest of the commonwealth. Virginia has mostly prevented a surge in cases after Labor Day like one after the Fourth of July, but hasn’t been able to bring case counts down overall just yet.

However with the decrease in viral spread, cases, as well as hospitalizations and deaths, should hopefully come down as the commonwealth prepares for the winter. Virginia just passed 3,000 deaths over the weekend, and the United States passed 200,000 deaths as earlier predictions came true. A potential resurgence in cases could result in more than 415,000 deaths in the U.S. by January, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, or IHME, at the University of Washington.

Experts says a lack of vigilance in Europe to adhering to public health recommendations led to a recent surge there.

For more information from VDH, click here.

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