Virginia May 15 COVID-19 update: 859 new cases, 22 new deaths reported as most of Va. enters phase 1 of reopening


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia reported 859 new COVID-19 cases and 22 new deaths on Friday as most of the state entered “phase 1” of the commonwealth’s coronavirus economic recovery plan.

Virginia is only averaging around 7,000 tests per day, well below Gov. Ralph Northam’s 10,000 tests per day goal. And leading health officials have said Virginia needed about 16,000 tests per day to safely reopen under phase 1.

Virginia’s curve of daily reported cases is still increasing, one of only a handful of states in the country with an increasing trend in daily numbers.

The average of percent of positive cases is about 15% statewide, the Virginia Department of Health says, higher than the 10% leading health experts said was necessary for reopening. That number, a key metric Virginia officials are using to gauge progress, has been trending down for over two weeks.

However the overall percentage statewide is affected by higher percentages in several hard-hit regions such as Northern Virginia (around 25%), Richmond City (22%) and the Eastern Shore (29%). Virginia now reports the percentage of positive cases by health district under its testing tab.

Northern Virginia, Richmond and the Eastern Shore’s Accomack County (though not Northampton), have all been granted a phase 1 delay of at least two weeks by Gov. Ralph Northam.

About half of the new cases are in Northern Virginia, with Accomack and Richmond adding 55 and 54 cases, respectively.

All other health districts in Tidewater are reporting percentages of positive cases under 10%.

Here’s the number of cases by the date they were reported and when symptoms started.

Accomack, which has the third highest number of cases in the state per capita, added 55 new cases on Friday after reporting 48 new cases on Thursday. The county of about 32,000 residents now has 648 cases, 100-plus cases more than Virginia Beach (450K residents).

Accomack case data for May 15

Health officials have said recent case increase have come in part from recent community testing at the Eastern Shore Community College, but haven’t said whether recent widescale testing at the Shore’s Perdue and Tyson chicken plants have been included in the overall count.

Here’s how Virginia’s hospitals look as of May 15:

Here are the latest numbers for Tidewater (May 15):

Accomack: 648 cases, 28 hospitalized, 9 deaths (103 new cases, 2 new deaths in last two days)

Chesapeake: 379 cases, 76 hospitalized, 10 deaths

Franklin: 30 cases, 2 hospitalized, 1 death

Gloucester: 28 cases, 7 hospitalized, 1 death

Hampton: 158 cases, 29 hospitalized, 3 deaths

Isle of Wight: 115 cases, 10 hospitalized, 3 deaths

James City County: 179 cases, 53 hospitalized, 15 deaths

Mathews: 5 cases, 1 hospitalized, 0 deaths

Newport News: 184 cases, 38 hospitalized, 10 deaths

Norfolk: 349 cases, 56 hospitalized, 5 deaths

Northampton: 193 cases 13 hospitalized, 7 deaths (19 new cases and 2 new deaths in last two days, 30% increase in cases compared to last Friday’s 149)

Poquoson: 7 cases, 2 hospitalized, 0 deaths

Portsmouth: 219 cases, 39 hospitalized, 10 deaths

Southampton: 135 cases, 4 hospitalized, 2 deaths

Suffolk: 255 cases, 41 hospitalized, 22 deaths

Virginia Beach: 535 cases, 86 hospitalized, 19 deaths

Williamsburg: 42 cases, 9 hospitalized, 3 deaths

York: 62 cases, 9 hospitalized, 3 deaths

Quick highlights:

  • 15 new deaths in Tidewater since last Friday: 2 in Accomack, 1 in Chesapeake, 2 in Northampton, 2 in Portsmouth, 1 in Southampton, 3 in Suffolk, 2 in Virginia Beach, 1 in Williamsburg and 1 in York.
  • All Tidewater health districts outside of the Eastern Shore have percent of positive tests below 10%.

For are more complete breakdown of each locality, click here.

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