Virginia started lifting restrictions two weeks ago and local COVID-19 reporting figures show moderate increases in everything from testing to numbers of deaths over that period.

On May 15, the day most of Virginia entered into phase one, the Virginia Department of Health reported it had 28,672 cases, 3,657 hospitalizations and 977 deaths. On Friday those figures had grown to 42,533 cases, 4,259 hospitalizations and 1,358 deaths. Total figures include 2,056 probable cases, 32 probable hospitalizations and 100 probable deaths.

In the last two weeks, the state has steadily improved its testing regime, reaching, and at times exceeding, its goal of returning at least 10,000 tests a day. On Friday, the state health department reported it had returned results on 11,048 tests, bringing its total to 296,321 tests. The state’s positivity rate continued to fall on Friday as well, dropping to 13.4%.

Local testing numbers have ramped up as well over the last two weeks. Since May 15, the Lord Fairfax Health District has returned results on 1,124 COVID-19 detection tests. Tests in the last two weeks make up about 36% of the total number of tests the district has conducted. On Friday, the district reported it has conducted 3,084 tests since the beginning of the pandemic.

The recent bump in reported testing figures only tells part of the district’s efforts to increase testing measures, Dr. Colin Greene, director of the health district, wrote in an email Friday.

There has been a reporting error on the state health department's site, Greene wrote, that lead to an undercount of roughly 5,000 tests conducted in the district but are not attributed. In the early stages of the pandemic, the state health department virus information page provided the number of tests conducted by each health district and the Lord Fairfax Health District was near the top of the list. Over the course of the page’s several restructures, those figures have been removed and when they were returned two weeks ago, the numbers had changed.

Based on the numbers provided by the state health department, the district has reported 506 new cases, 44 new hospitalizations and 18 new deaths over the last two weeks.

Friday’s report also does not reflect the point prevalence survey conducted at the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren County Regional Jail by the state health department and members of the National Guard.

Jail officials said they do not know when those results will return but jail Superintendent Russ Gilkison said on Thursday the results will take at least a week.

On Friday, the jail reported that 18 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. No staff members have tested positive for the virus, though two kitchen employees and 11 inmates who work in the kitchen were tested for the virus on Tuesday. Their results came back negative.

The Lord Fairfax Health District reported it has 1,321 cases, 119 hospitalizations and 50 deaths. Total figures include 151 probable cases, one probable hospitalization and four probable deaths.

Local cases

• Shenandoah County reported Friday it had 429 cases, 44 hospitalizations and 21 deaths.

• Frederick County reported it had 331 cases, 23 hospitalizations and four deaths.

• Page County reported it had 214 cases, 24 hospitalizations and 21 deaths.

• Winchester City reported it had 176 cases, 11 hospitalizations and two deaths.

• Warren County reported it had 146 cases, 14 hospitalizations and two deaths.

• Clarke County reported it had 25 cases, three hospitalizations and no deaths.

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