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Counties remain steady in COVID-19 cases

The number of COVID-19 cases in Gloucester and Mathews counties continued to remain fairly steady during the past week, with Gloucester adding two new cases, for a total of 33 as of Wednesday morning, while Mathews has remained unchanged for the past month, staying at five.

Eight Gloucester residents have been hospitalized at one time or another with the illness, with one death in the county. Two Mathews residents have been hospitalized, with no deaths.

In Middlesex, the number of cases dropped from 15 to 14, perhaps due to a clerical addressing error, as Three Rivers Health District Director Dr. Richard Williams explained some weeks ago. One Middlesex resident has been hospitalized, with no deaths in the county from the illness.

The Three Rivers Health District experienced another outbreak during the past week, this one at a business, or “congregate setting,” in King and Queen County, said Williams. The county saw an increase of 14 cases between May 29 and Wednesday morning. The three outbreaks in the district have resulted in 270 associated COVID-19 cases, 29 of which were health care workers.

There were also significant increases in cases in Richmond and Westmoreland counties on Virginia’s Northern Neck, which jumped by 14 and 20 cases respectively during same the period. However, Williams said that those increases, as well as smaller increases in Gloucester, Essex, and King William counties (3, 7 and 6, respectively), were a mix not only of new cases arising in the community but also of cases arising in close contacts of people with disease that the district is already following.

Statewide, 395,972 PCR tests had been conducted as of Wednesday morning, with an extra influx of 13,000 cases added over several days beginning June 9, said Virginia Health Commissioner Norm Oliver in a press release. He said this was because one of the labs conducting tests had been providing the results via fax rather than electronically, which created a backlog. That lab will now be submitting electronic results, he said, adding that there is still a backlog of an equal number of test results that VDH is working on eliminating.

The additional tests have brought the percentage of positive tests down to 9 percent across the state. The goal was 10 percent or less. This means that the state is conducting a sufficient number of tests. When blood tests that determine whether people have already had the illness are added to the test data, the number of tests conducted rises to 443,486, dropping the percent of positive cases to 8.9 percent.

The total number cases of COVID-19 in Virginia was 52,177 as of Wednesday morning. Of those, there had been 5,272 hospitalizations, 5,240 of which were confirmed positive, with 32 probable cases. This was an increase of 388 cases since last week statewide.

The total number of deaths in Virginia reached 1,514 as of Wednesday morning, an increase of 86 since last Wednesday. Of those deaths, 1,408 were confirmed positive with COVID-19, while 106 were probable.

The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, which keeps a daily count of the number of people in hospitals, reported that the total number of people in Virginia hospitals with COVID-19 on Wednesday morning was 1,155, while a total of 6,825 people had been treated and discharged.

Of those currently in the hospital, 748 are confirmed positive for the illness, while 407 have results that are pending. Intensive care units were treating 296 people across the state for COVID-19 as of Wednesday morning, with 139 of those on ventilators.

There were 2,919 ventilators available in hospitals, with 592 of those in use, while 3,882 hospital beds were available statewide, with an additional 3,695 available under the governor’s Executive Order 52.
Finally, two hospitals in the state reported they were having difficulty obtaining or replenishing their PPE as of Wednesday morning.