The Virginia Department of Health reported 845 new cases, 52 new hospitalizations and 45 new deaths on Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 136,359 cases, 10,389 hospitalizations and 2,884 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Total figures include 6,396 probable cases, 71 probable hospitalizations and 173 probable deaths.

There was still a data backlog on Wednesday, according to the VDH, which may have caused outsized figures for new deaths, which are already a lagging indicator. The VDH relies on death certificates — filed by doctors — to determine whether a death is due to COVID-19. As those certificates come into the hands of the VDH the dashboard is updated, meaning that new reported cases may be days or weeks old. For a clearer look at how deaths in Virginia due to COVID-19 have been trending, the VDH includes a chart showing deaths by date of death on its key measures page.

Virginia has seen a spike in deaths recently, beginning in early August. On Aug. 21, the commonwealth's two-month high in the average number of daily deaths over a seven-week period was 15.1 per day.

On Wednesday the VDH reported Virginia has averaged reporting 27 new deaths per day over the last week.

The Lord Fairfax Health District reported eight new cases, one new hospitalization and two new deaths on Wednesday, bringing its total to 2,962 cases, 262 hospitalizations and 106 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Total figures include 323 probable cases, one probable hospitalization and 10 probable deaths.

The health district has reported an average of 11 new cases per day over the last seven days and 4.6 new cases per day per 100,000 people. The health district’s peripheral figures have remained positive for much of the pandemic as its average number of new hospitalizations over a seven-day period has never risen above four. The largest average number of deaths over seven days was 2.4 in mid-May and new case rates have steadily improved since a high of 45 new cases per day over a seven-day average in early June.

Local cases

Frederick County has had 823 cases, 63 hospitalizations and 11 deaths.

Shenandoah County has had 793 cases, 87 hospitalizations and 56 deaths.

Winchester City has had 471 cases, 35 hospitalizations and four deaths.

Warren County has had 409 cases, 23 hospitalizations and six deaths.

Page County has had 378 cases, 42 hospitalizations and 29 deaths.

Clarke County has had 88 cases, 12 hospitalizations and no deaths.

Regional cases

Harrisonburg has had 2,293 cases, 90 hospitalizations and 34 deaths.

Rockingham County has had 1,312 cases, 111 hospitalizations and 21 deaths.

Schools/

universities

In a news conference on Tuesday, State Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver said the VDH does not have any plans to regularly release the names or locations of public and private kindergarten through 12th grade schools where there are outbreaks — such as it has done with nursing homes and long-term care facilities. He said there may be situations where announcements from the VDH are necessary but that those will not be the norm.

The state has recorded 75 outbreaks in educational facilities, leading to 1,599 cases and no deaths.

James Madison University reported it now has 307 active cases and 1,062 recovered cases since July 1.

The University Health Center conducted 64 COVID-19 detection tests on Tuesday and returned no positive test results. Test results are from tests conducted two to three days ago, according to the university’s dashboard.

The health center has performed 2,344 tests since July 1 and returned positive results on 581 — giving the health center a positivity rate of 24.96%.

Contact Max Thornberry at mthornberry@nvdaily.com