WILD MASKS

Millie Andrews, owner of Alterations by Millie, stocks her curbside mask display outside her shop on East Jackson Street in Front Royal on Monday. Andrews says she and her staff have made thousands of masks since March. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends cloth face coverings to help prevent those who have COVID-19 from spreading it to other people.

Virginia, like dozens of other states, has seen an increase in new cases in recent weeks but underlying figures still show positive signs for the commonwealth, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

On Friday, the VDH published its weekly Data Insights report that praised Virginians for adhering to the restrictions that have led to a dampening of new COVID-19 cases and prevented the rebound states such as California and Florida are seeing now. However, cases are starting to move back up — and not just as a result of increased testing.

According to the Data Insights report, there is still “much uncertainty” about the risk of a second wave of COVID-19 cases in concert with Phase Three of the state’s reopening plan. The statewide transmission rate has inched up recently but still remains below 1 (0.937).

The transmission rate, or reproduction rate, marks the number of new infections each case will cause.

The good-news-bad-news balancing act comes as most of the state has seen improved COVID-19 metrics but 10 of the state’s 35 health districts are tracking with a slightly bleaker scenario. The “steady” and “light” rebound scenarios those 10 districts are tracking with show peak COVID-19 results will come sometime this month.

Test positivity also has plateaued since mid-June as the state’s positivity rate — which clocked in at 6.1% on Monday over a seven-day average dating to July 2 — has dropped as low as 5.8% but started to climb back up.

On Monday, the VDH reported Virginia has had 66,102 cases, 6,435 hospitalizations and 1,853 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Total figures include 2,763 probable cases, 41 probable hospitalizations and 106 probable deaths.

The Lord Fairfax Health District reported it recorded 33 new cases, one new hospitalization and five new deaths over the weekend. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the district has had 2,093 cases, 194 hospitalizations and 74 deaths. Total figures include 258 probable cases, one probable hospitalization and six probable deaths.

The district has completed 21,044 COVID-19 detection tests and has a positivity rate of 5.3% over a seven-day average.

Local casesShenandoah County reported it has had 598 cases, 66 hospitalizations and 34 deaths.

Frederick County reported it has had 520 cases, 42 hospitalizations and six deaths.

Winchester City reported it has had 334 cases, 24 hospitalizations and three deaths.

Warren County reported it has had 299 cases, 18 hospitalizations and eight deaths.

Page County reported it has had 285 cases, 29 hospitalizations and 23 deaths.

Clarke County reported it has had 57 cases, five hospitalizations and no deaths.

– Contact Max Thornberry at mthornberry@nvdaily.com