Number of Va. coronavirus cases now at 6,500; deaths near 200
Health department reports more than 1,000 hospitalized Wednesday
The number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia is now at 6,500, according to the Virginia Department of Health’s Wednesday, April 15 update at 9 a.m., 329 more than reported Tuesday. The number of confirmed virus-related deaths is at 195, 41 more than 24 hours ago, and 1,048 people are now hospitalized with the virus. VDH reports that 44,169 people have been tested in the state.
On April 8, Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver spoke about a lack of racial and ethnic data for more than half of the state’s confirmed COVID-19 patients, while noting that according to available information, black and Latino Virginians are disproportionately affected by the virus’ spread.
Tuesday evening, the city of Richmond’s health department announced that 62% of 164 residents with confirmed COVID-19 infections are black; 24% are white, and less than 5% of patients were other races or more than one race. Racial data was missing for 10% of the city’s cases, based on data available April 12. According to U.S. Census estimates for 2019, the city of Richmond’s population is 47.8% black or African American, 45.4% white, non-Hispanic; 6.7% Latino, 3.3% more than one race, and 2.1% Asian.
Statewide, according to weekly results released Monday by VDH, 25.4% of all 5,747 confirmed cases were among white, non-Hispanic patients, 15.9% patients were black, 8.1% were Latino, and 6.2% were other races or of more than one race. However, 44% of all cases had no racial data available, an improvement of about 10% since April 8 but still leaving an incomplete picture of the demographic impact in the state.
However, a more complete picture emerges when considering fatalities and hospitalized patients across the state. According to Monday’s weekly overview, this is the breakdown of hospitalized patients:
948 total patients hospitalized
- 19.3% have no racial or ethnic data recorded
- 30.4% are white, non-Hispanic
- 29.8% are black
- 10.3% are Latino
- 10% are other races
Among 149 recorded fatalities caused by COVID-19, 28.8% have no racial or ethnic data.
- 38.9% of fatal cases are among white patients
- 22.1% are black
- 5.3% are Latino
- 4.6% are other races
In the state, 19.9% of the population is black or African American, according to U.S. Census estimates for 2019, and 9.6% is Latino. So, even with incomplete information, black patients make up higher percentages of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and fatalities, and non-white Virginians outnumber white Virginians who have confirmed coronavirus cases or have been hospitalized, according to data available Monday.
Dr. Oliver said that a racial equity group in the state’s unified command team is focusing on vulnerable parts of Virginia’s population, including black and Latino communities, with targeted communication efforts and other plans to assist in protecting them from further spread.
Below is the latest data from VDH: