State’s virus cases increase by nearly 1,000 in 24 hours
26,746 COVID-19 cases and 927 deaths reported Wednesday
Virginia now has 26,746 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases, the Virginia Department of Health reported Wednesday. That’s an increase of 946 cases since Tuesday.
Also, 927 deaths related to the coronavirus were reported in the daily update, up from 891 Tuesday. There are 3,520 people hospitalized with confirmed cases or probable cases statewide, and 160,077 people have been tested across the state.
One of the key metrics for starting Phase One of Gov. Ralph Northam’s reopening plan is the percentage of positive tests declining compared with the total number of tests performed in the state; as of Tuesday, the percentage is 14%, a 1% decrease since Monday. However, as state and local officials noted earlier this week, the percentage of positive cases remains around 25% in Northern Virginia, prompting the governor’s decision Tuesday to delay Phase One in the region by two weeks.
So far, the rest of the state expects to be allowed to reopen nonessential businesses on a limited basis starting Friday, although some elected officials — including Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney — have said it’s possibly too early for the state to reopen and that people of color and low-wage workers would bear the brunt of a potential outbreak. Two-thirds of Charlottesville residents surveyed April 28-May 5 by the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service said that keeping people at home during the pandemic was more important than reopening the state’s economy.
Also on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, and Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testified before the U.S. Senate, saying that the nation lacks the testing and tracing capacity necessary to deal with large outbreaks if states move forward in reopening their economies.
Northam said Monday that he will make a final decision Wednesday about moving forward on launching Phase One, which would allow restaurants to serve parties of no more than 10 people on outdoor patios and porches, and let retail stores open at 50% capacity, among other social-distancing precautions. Hair salons, barber shops and massage therapists also will be able to reopen as long as they limit the number of people in their facilities and wear masks.
These are the Virginia localities that have reported 400 or more cases, as of May 12:
- Fairfax County: 6,666
- Prince William County: 3,181
- Arlington County: 1,460
- Alexandria: 1,305
- Loudoun County: 1,283
- Henrico County: 1,146
- Chesterfield County: 862
- Harrisonburg: 607
- Richmond: 565
- Accomack County: 545
- Virginia Beach: 519
- Manassas City: 459
- Stafford County: 413
Globally, there are 4.28 million reported COVID-19 cases and 292,619 confirmed deaths, as of May 13. In the United States, which has the most confirmed cases and deaths worldwide, there are 1.37 million confirmed cases and 82,389 deaths attributed to the coronavirus. More than 20,000 people have died from COVID-19 in New York City.
Below is the latest data from VDH: