Virginia May 1 COVID-19 update: More than 1,000 new cases reported with nearly 15,000 new tests


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia reported 1,055 new cases of COVID-19, its highest number of daily cases by far, along with reporting nearly 15,000 new tests — overwhelmingly the highest number of tests reported by the Virginia Department of Health in a single day.

29 new deaths were also reported Friday, bringing Virginia’s total to 581 across all health districts.

Friday’s report also came with a brand new look for how the health department displays the data, with specific graphs for local health districts.

May 1 COVID-19 statewide data from the Virginia Department of Health

Of the 1,055 new cases on Friday, 929 were confirmed by testing. Another 126 were probable cases, in which a patient who shows symptoms is diagnosed without testing.

Virginia’s chart of daily reported cases is still trending upward. The graph below from the non-profit Virginia Public Access Project only displays confirmed cases.

Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association data shows current hospitalizations have dropped for the second straight day, with 1,431 currently hospital statewide.

366 are hospitalized statewide with 193 on ventilators. Two hospitals are still experiencing issues with obtaining personal protective equipment (PPE).

Here’s the latest breakdown for the Tidewater (May 1):

Accomack: 303 cases, 19 hospitalized, 5 deaths 
Chesapeake: 256 cases, 60 hospitalized, 7 deaths 
Franklin: 23 cases 3 hospitalized, 1 death
Gloucester: 24 cases, 5 hospitalized, 1 deaths
Hampton: 119 cases, 28 hospitalized, 1 deaths
Isle of Wight: 99 cases, 9 hospitalized, 2 deaths
James City County: 160 cases, 51 hospitalized, 12 deaths
Mathews: 4 cases, 1 hospitalized, 0 deaths
Newport News: 120 cases, 33 hospitalized, 9 deaths
Norfolk: 204 cases, 42 hospitalized, 3 deaths
Northampton: 82 cases, 3 hospitalized, 0 deaths
Poquoson: 6 cases, 2 hospitalized, 0 deaths
Portsmouth: 170 cases 33 hospitalized, 7 deaths
Southampton: 125 cases 3 hospitalized, 1 death
Suffolk: 175 cases, 32 hospitalized, 13 deaths
Virginia Beach: 396 cases, 81 hospitalized, 14 deaths
Williamsburg: 20 cases, 6 hospitalized, 1 death
York: 46 cases, 6 hospitalized, 1 death

To look at data from each locality, click here.

After being ranked at near the bottom of the list of states in the U.S. for their testing capacity, Virginia revealed a new metric on Friday for which they will be measuring testing.

Virginia reported nearly 15,000 tests on Friday, though Northam says that only about 5,800 new people were tested as part of that number. The reason for the large spike in testing reported Friday (14,805) compared to previous days is that the methodology in which testing is reported has changed, officials say.

Before the change, though a COVID-19 patient may get tested multiple times over the course of treatment, the Virginia Health Department was only reporting the sum of the patient’s tests as one single test.

They will now report one patient being tested multiple times as multiple tests.

Eastern Shore’s 2 counties in top 5 statewide for cases per capita

Accomack County on the Eastern Shore once again recorded the highest per day increase in cases (39) across the entire region, despite only having around 32,000 residents. It now has 303 confirmed cases total, and has the second highest rate of cases in the state, with 935 per 100,000 people.

A vast majority of the cases have been reported in just over the last week. Many have been linked to Acomack’s Perdue and Tyson chicken plants. The plants are the county’s two largest employers, with about 3,000 workers total.

May 1 data for Accomack from VDH

The rate of cases in neighboring Northampton County (population of just less than 12,000) remained relatively low in comparison to Accomack until this week, with 46 new cases reported in the past two days to bring its total to 82 — an increase of 127%. In comparison, Accomack’s cases increased by 32% in that time span.

Northampton now ranks 5th in the state in cases per capita with 699 cases per 100,000 residents.

May 1 data for Northampton from VDH

There are 5 outbreaks (facility with more than 2 cases) on the Eastern Shore in total — 257 of the Shore’s 385 cases are associated with these outbreaks. 1 of the 5 outbreaks is at a long-term care facility, Heritage Hall in Northampton County.

VDH data shows COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting African-Americans on the Eastern Shore by an overwhelming rate. This comes as racial disparities in COVID-19 cases are being reported in other parts of the United States.

Of the 385 cases on the Shore in total, 247 are African-American patients — 64% — despite African-Americans only accounting for about 30% of the Shore’s population, census data shows. That’s including 38 cases in which race wasn’t reported. Among the cases in which race was reported (347), 71% are African-American.

African-Americans account for 17 of the Shore’s 22 hospitalizations, 77%, and 3 of the Shore’s 5 deaths — 60%.

This article is continuously being updated.

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