Virginia June 24 COVID-19 update: New daily cases steady one week ahead of move to phase 3, Hampton Roads cases up slightly

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia reported its 14th day of cases below 600 in its last 17 on June 24, a day after Gov. Ralph Northam announced the commonwealth would move to phase 3 of its reopening plan next Wednesday, July 1.

Virginia’s 7-day average of cases has bumped up slightly in recent days to 534 on Wednesday, but the average has remained around that 500 mark for just over a week. That’s less than half Virginia’s peak 7-day average in cases (1,195) on May 31. Virginia continues to seeing improving figures as other states across the country, including North Carolina, see cases trend up, or in the case of Arizona, skyrocket.

North Carolina was also one of 7 states to report record hospitalizations on Tuesday, which also saw more than 800 COVID-19 deaths across the U.S. — the first time fatalities topped the previous day’s since June 7, the Washington Post reported.

Virginia’s hospitalizations, as well as its percent of positive cases, are way down ahead of the transition to phase 3. Gov. Northam says he’s cautiously optimistic about the move, but says Virginia could go back to phase 2 or 1 if cases surge.

June 24 COVID-19 numbers statewide

  • New cases: (+520, 59,514 total) — Cases below 600 in 14 of last 17 days — all less than half of peak average of cases on May 31 (1,195)
  • New deaths (+16, 1,661 total) — 7-day average of deaths by day of death below 10 per day for first time, 9 in long-term care
  • Hospitalizations (+39, 886 total) — a bump up after a record low on Tuesday, still more than 700 patients below May 8 peak
  • Testing (6.2% positive, +8,178 PCR tests to 565,835 PCR tests overall) — Percent positive down from 6.4% on Tuesday, under 7% positive for nearly two weeks, averaging 9,215 tests per day

What sticks out? Hospitalizations increase slightly, but are still way below peak

One thing that stands out on Wednesday is that current COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by 39 between Tuesday and Wednesday. While it may not seem that big of a jump considering hospitalizations have trended way down for nearly a month, Virginia’s seen jumps of 39 and 34 since last Wednesday (though the 34 increase was followed by an even larger decrease the day after).

It appears that the 7-day average in hospitalizations is starting to flatten out slightly around the 850 mark after a steep drop over the last month.

Deaths overall trending down

When State Health Commissioner Norm Oliver was asked about a large spike in deaths (25) on Tuesday, which was the highest reported in a day since May 28, he reemphasized that the deaths reported each data by VDH (deaths by date reported) have a lag from the actual day a person dies.

Virginia’s daily COVID-19 cases reported also follow this lag in a different way, with “date by of symptom onset.”

“Number of deaths by day of death,” the chart below the date reported figures, shows deaths are down over three-fold since peaking in early May at more than 34 per day. The latest 7-day average figure is at 9.4 per day, the lowest so far of the pandemic.

9 of Wednesday’s “day reported” increase in deaths (16) were in long-term care facilities (nursing homes and assisted living), where 1,020 of Virginia’s 1,661 COVID-19 deaths have occurred.

  • Long-term care – 1,020
  • Congregate – 27
  • Correctional – 9
  • Healthcare – 8
  • Educational – 0

Positive tests again at new low

The percent of positive tests is now at 6.2% statewide.

Here’s the latest count for the Tidewater region:

Accomack: 1,034 cases, 69 hospitalized,  14 deaths (+1 case)
Chesapeake: 792 cases, 116 hospitalized, 16 deaths​ (+18, +7 hospitalized)
Franklin:  46 cases, 3 hospitalized, 2 death​s (no increases)
Gloucester: 45 cases, 9 hospitalized, 1 death​ (+3 cases)
Hampton: 276 cases,  38 hospitalized, 5 deaths​ (+5 cases)
Isle of Wight: 165 cases, 15 hospitalized, 8 deaths​ (no increases)
James City County: 247 cases, 57 hospitalized, 15 deaths​ (+2 cases)
Mathews: 5 cases, 2 hospitalized, 0 deaths​ (no increases)
Newport News: 463 cases, 44 hospitalized, 10 deaths​ (+11 cases)
Norfolk: 771 cases, 93 hospitalized, 7 deaths​ (+24 cases, +2 hospitalized)
Northampton: 270 cases 38 hospitalized, 28 deaths​ (-1 case)
Poquoson: 16 cases, 2 hospitalized, 0 death​s (no increases)
Portsmouth: 426 cases,  66 hospitalized, 16 deaths​ (+5 cases)
Southampton: 155 cases, 7 hospitalized, 2 deaths​ (+1 case)
Suffolk: 385 cases, 55 hospitalized, 34 deaths​ (+5 cases)
Virginia Beach: 1,038 cases, 118 hospitalized, 27 deaths​ (+18 cases, +2 hospitalized)
Williamsburg: 54 cases, 11 hospitalized, 5 deaths​ (no increases)
York: 106 cases, 10 hospitalized, 3 deaths​ (no increases)

Key figures:

In comparison, VDH’s graph of the cases in the Eastern District (Hampton Roads and Eastern Shore) by data of symptom onset, again different from the daily reported cases that lag symptom start, as just under 55 cases per day. The spike in the middle of the graph coincides with cases at Accomack County’s chicken plants.

  • 0 new deaths locally (averaging below 1 per day)

For more information not provided about, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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