Virginia didn’t succeed in meeting the same testing highs over the weekend it achieved during the week but its COVID-19 statistics continued to improve Monday.
Following weeks of questions about the efficiency of its testing regime and failure to crack conducting at least 10,000 tests in a day, the Virginia Department of Health reported it reached that benchmark four times last week. Testing figures dropped over the weekend — the VDH reported it returned results on 4,557 tests on Sunday — but trends are moving in the right direction.
With more tests rolling through the state and private labs, it appears that COVID-19 is continuing to spread at a slower rate. The state’s positivity rate — the percentage of COVID-19 detection tests that return positive — dropped to 11.8% over a seven-day average on Monday. Health officials have signaled that a 10% rate will be required for moving forward with re-opening plans.
As of Monday morning, the VDH had conducted 322,568 detection tests and reported it has recorded 45,398 cases, 4,694 hospitalizations and 1,392 deaths. Total figures include 2,151 probable cases, 34 probable hospitalizations and 110 probable deaths.
The VDH virus hub estimates that Virginia had its first case as early as Feb. 16 but that case is listed as probable.
Last week, the VDH reported that mitigation efforts — stay at home orders, wearing masks in public and social distancing — are believed to have prevented 682,882 cases, according to the University of Virginia model. The model is designed to help policymakers determine the best course of action to take — posing “if-then” scenarios. The model is not designed to predict future numbers but to offer a range of possibilities based on different policy actions.
According to the model, if the state continues to improve its detection efforts and the virus continues to spread despite continued restrictions, the state may have already passed its peak caseload last month.
On the other hand, the model notes that if case detection doesn’t improve but restrictions are lifted, the state’s peak may not occur until mid-July. That scenario posits Virginia could see as many as 53,726 cases occur in one week, potentially overwhelming a hospital system that has weathered the COVID-19 crisis to this point.
The VDH provides a weekly update on its model on its website.
The Lord Fairfax Health District reported it has had 1,418 cases, 121 hospitalizations and 50 deaths. Total figures include 163 probable cases, one probable hospitalization and four probable deaths.
The district has returned results on 10,403 COVID-19 detection tests and has a positivity rate of 14.5%. Eight districts have reported returning more tests than Lord Fairfax.
Local cases• Shenandoah County reported it has had 458 cases, 44 hospitalizations and 21 deaths.
• Frederick County reported it has had 359 cases, 23 hospitalizations and four deaths.
• Page County reported it has had 225 cases, 25 hospitalizations and 21 deaths.
• Winchester City reported it has had 191 cases, 12 hospitalizations and two deaths.
• Warren County reported it has had 157 cases, 14 hospitalizations and two deaths.
• Clarke County reported it has had 28 cases, three hospitalizations and no deaths.