PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia’s average of new coronavirus cases and percent of positive tests are continuing to trend up overall as Southwest Virginia in particular sees a significant uptick, with cases now at their highest point since since early August.

1,429 new cases were reported Thursday, bringing Virginia’s average to 1,154 new cases per day. That average is just below previous highs of 1,186 on August 8 and 1,195 on May 31.

Virginia overall however is still doing well in relation to nearly all other states, which have seen large increases in cases and hospitalizations. Reported deaths in the U.S. are also up, with more than 1,000 new deaths reported Wednesday alone.

Statewide numbers:

  • New cases: (+1,429, 178,183 total), case average and per capita rate rising
  • New deaths (+20, 3,636 total), reported deaths up recently but deaths mostly steady overall
  • Current hospitalizations (+14 patients, 1,082 total), trending up
  • Testing (5.3% 7-day average of positive tests) slight trend up recently but steady overall, Virginia averaging around 18,000 tests per day

Southwest Va. cases vs. rest of state

A disproportionate number of new cases are in the Southwest. New cases are only up slightly (but still steady overall) in the Eastern region (Hampton Roads). For example, heavy populated Northern Virginia is reporting about 275 cases per day, up about 80 cases compared to a month ago. Southwest is reporting about 355 per day, about double the numbers of this time last month.

Gov. Ralph Northam said Wednesday that many of the new cases in Southwest Virginia are coming from small gatherings of people who don’t live in the same family. Health officials continue to stress wearing masks and limiting time of exposure while indoors around people who aren’t in your immediate family.

The percent of positive tests (percent positivity) statewide has also gone up by about half a percent in the past three weeks statewide, but again that’s mostly due to the Southwest region.

Here are the metrics for “Near Southwest” and “Far Southwest.”

Hospitalizations and deaths statewide

Hospitalizations continue to increase overall across the state, again exacerbated by the trends in the Southwest.

Deaths “by date of death” (day a person actually died) have dropped slightly (the deaths in the gray area of the chart might not be reported yet, but the decrease in the white section (which has about a month buffer to account for lag) does show there has been some change from previous levels. Remember that deaths can lag new cases for quite some time, and then there’s lag in reporting that death to the health department.

Local cases

Though statewide numbers are around record levels, Hampton Roads still isn’t seeing any major changes to its metrics recently. Virginia Beach did have a reporting spike of 75 new cases on Thursday, and cases there are up slightly on average. The city is by far the largest in Hampton Roads, but it has the highest 7-day average of cases per 100,000 people of the 7 cities.

Virginia Beach also had its highest number of daily reported hospitalizations (12) in over two months, though VDH’s hospitalization reporting doesn’t mean those patients were in the last 24 hours. Portsmouth has also seen a slight increase in hospitalizations.

Deaths in the region are also down compared to earlier in the pandemic when cases surged, and mostly stabilized.

Here’s the latest cumulative count for Hampton Roads

Accomack 1,214 cases, 97 hospitalized, 19 deaths (no change)
Chesapeake: 4,945 cases, 479 hospitalized, 79 deaths (+24 cases)
Franklin 498 cases, 25 hospitalized, 13 deaths (no change)
Gloucester: 352 cases, 17 hospitalized, 3 deaths (+2 cases)
Hampton: 2,138 cases, 90 hospitalized, 32 deaths (+13 cases, +1 hospitalized)
Isle of Wight: 875 cases, 45 hospitalized, 26 deaths (+5 cases)
James City County: 960 cases, 68 hospitalized, 22 deaths (+6 cases)
Mathews: 136 cases, 10 hospitalized, 0 deaths (+1 case)
Newport News: 3,225 cases, 118 hospitalized, 51 deaths (+20 cases, +1 hospitalized)
Norfolk: 5,419 cases 410 hospitalized, 84 deaths (+24 cases)
Northampton: 320 cases, 49 hospitalized, 31 deaths (+1 case)
Poquoson: 97 cases, 3 hospitalized, 2 deaths  (no change)
Portsmouth: 2,852 cases, 316 hospitalized, 69 deaths (+14 cases, +5 hospitalized, +1 death)
Southampton: 923 cases, 29 hospitalized, 38 deaths  (no change)
Suffolk: 2,317 cases, 137 hospitalized 78 deaths (+17 cases, +1 hospitalized)
Virginia Beach: 8,001 cases, 444 hospitalized, 106 deaths (+75 cases, +12 hospitalized)
Williamsburg: 218 cases, 14 hospitalized, 8 deaths (+2 cases, +1 death)
York: 646 cases, 19 hospitalized, 9 deaths (+2 cases)

Key local metrics

  • 206 new cases, up slightly today compared to normal but still steady overall
  • 2 new deaths, steady
  • -14 hospitalizations (191 total), steady overall
  • 7-day average of positive tests, 4.25, decreasing overall

Chesapeake — 3.9% — mostly steady overall (recent drop after 1,998 people tested last Thursday)
Eastern Shore — 3% — steady and low overall, (low overall testing)
Hampton— 4.4% — mostly steady overall
Norfolk — 5.1% — mostly steady overall
Peninsula — 3.9% — mostly steady overall
Portsmouth — 4.9% — mostly steady overall
Virginia Beach — 4.1% — steady overall
Western Tidewater — 4.7% — steady overall, back down after recent trend up (70-plus active cases at Deerfield Correctional)

For more data from VDH, click here.

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