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Virginia’s coronavirus numbers trending downward

While COVID-19 cases in some other states have reached all-time highs, the numbers in Virginia continued to be on a downward trend last week, according to information provided on the Virginia Department of Health website.
At the same time, Virginia has continued its vigorous testing efforts, with a total of 735,207 tests conducted statewide as of Wednesday morning, 79,249 of those within the past week. The seven-day average positive rate for those tested was 6 percent as of Wednesday.

Throughout the pandemic, the VDH has maintained a seven-day moving average of confirmed and probable cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. As of Wednesday, July 1, the seven-day moving average of cases had dropped from a high of 1,029 on May 21 to 457. Hospitalizations, which peaked at 96 on May 6, were down to an average of 21 on July 1, and deaths, after a peak of 37 on May 5, had dropped to four on average statewide as of July 1.

With that said, the cumulative numbers increased during the past week, demonstrating that the coronavirus has not gone away. As of Wednesday morning, 67,375 total cases had been identified statewide, up by 4,172 since last Wednesday’s 63,203 cases. Hospitalizations statewide rose from 6,262 last Wednesday to 6,577 this Wednesday, an increase of 315, and deaths went from 1,786 to 1,905, or 119 more than last week.

Dr. Richard Williams, director of the Three Rivers Health District, said that it’s important for people to look at trends rather than specific number counts, since it’s very difficult to keep a 100 percent accurate daily count of such numbers.

“We’re engaged on so many fronts right now you can’t believe,” said Williams. “And we don’t have any more people than we started with.”

Locally, Gloucester added three cases during the past week, for a cumulative total of 52 cases, while the number of hospitalizations and deaths the county has seen remaining the same, at nine and one, respectively.

8 positive at drive-thru event

Of the 464 people tested for COVID-19 at a drive-thru event held on June 29 at Gloucester High School, said Williams, eight people tested positive, all Gloucester residents. Such a low percentage of positive cases shows that the level of community transmission in the area is currently “pretty low,” said Williams.

Mathews County numbers remained static, as well, with a total of six cases, two hospitalizations, and no deaths. Adjacent Middlesex County also remained the same, with 15 cases, one hospitalization, and no deaths.

The Three Rivers Health District, of which all three counties are a part, has seen a total of 669 cases so far, with 21 of those added since Wednesday, July 1. There have been 54 hospitalizations across the district, and 10 deaths, as of Wednesday morning, July 8.

There have been 11,929 PCR tests for COVID-19 conducted in the Three Rivers District, with a positive rate of 3.9 percent.

According to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, 971 people across the state were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday morning, 79 more than were hospitalized at the same time last week. This is the first increase in the number of hospitalizations since the Gazette-Journal began recording weekly statistics the first week in May. Of those hospitalized, 594 were confirmed positive for the virus, while 377 were listed with results pending.
The number of people hospitalized in the ICU with COVID-19 was 230 as of Wednesday morning, with 98 of them on ventilators.

Statewide, there were 3,006 ventilators on hand in hospitals as of Wednesday, while 635 were in use in hospitals. There were 3,682 regular hospital beds available and 3,695 beds added under Executive Order 52.