Six Virginians dead from COVID-19; cases rose 44% in 24 hours
The three latest fatalities were women in their 80s from Newport News, Williamsburg and James City County.
The Virginia Department of Health announced the deaths of three more Virginia residents Sunday, bringing the number of COVID-19 fatalities in the commonwealth to six people. The three patients lived in the Peninsula District and were women in their 80s, according to a VDH news release.
One woman lived in a long-term care facility, and all three were hospitalized. They were residents of Newport News, Williamsburg and James City County, and they died from respiratory failure due to COVID-19.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce three additional victims of COVID-19. We at VDH express our condolences to those families,” said Peninsula Acting Health Director Dr. Steve Julian. “Increased public cooperation with the publicized guidelines that lessen the spread of the disease will reduce the incidence of deaths related to COVID-19.”
Earlier in the week, two men in their 70s in the Peninsula District died from the coronavirus, the first lives claimed by the pandemic in Virginia.
A Fairfax man in his 60s was the the third person to die from COVID-19 in Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Sunday during his daily coronavirus news briefing. The commonwealth now has 220 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Virginia — 68 more than on Saturday and a 44% increase in 24 hours. Thirty-two Virginians were hospitalized from COVID-19, as of March 22, according to VDH.
“We are seeing this sharp increase in positive tests in part because we do have more capability for testing coming online,” Northam said. “We are [also] seeing it because this virus continues to spread. We talk about flattening the curve but, make no mistake, we are still in the early stages of that curve rising. How high and how quickly those numbers rise is up to you and me and every single Virginian.”
VDH reported these new cases over the weekend:
- The Pittsylvania-Danville Health District announced Sunday its first case of COVID-19 illness in a resident of the district. The patient is a man in his 40s. The patient is hospitalized, following exposure to a known positive COVID-19 case elsewhere in Virginia. News reports say that the man is isolated at Sovah Health – Danville and in stable condition.
- The Lord Fairfax Health District announced Sunday that a resident of the district, which includes the city of Winchester and the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren, has tested positive. The patient, a woman in her 30s, has mild symptoms at present, and is being treated as an outpatient while isolated from the general public. Health District staff will be contacting anyone in the area who is identified as a close contact of the positive case.
- The Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District, which includes Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock counties, announced Saturday that two individuals in their 70s who reside in Culpeper have tested positive. Health department staff will be contacting people who have been identified as close contacts, who will be asked to self-quarantine and monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days.
- The Chesapeake Health Department announced Saturday a resident has tested positive. This case marks the first positive case in the district. The woman in her 50s had recently traveled to New York. She is hospitalized and in stable condition, according to a news release.
- The LENOWISCO Health District in Southwest Virginia announced Saturday two cases in Lee County. These are the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in residents of the district. The individuals are a man and woman in their 50s; the second case is a household contact of the first. They have had no contacts with community since prior to the onset of symptoms in the first case, and have maintained strict isolation since symptom onset. No at-risk community contacts have occurred.
- The Eastern Shore Health District announced Saturday that another resident of the Eastern Shore has tested positive. This case, a man in his 60s, marks the second known case in the Eastern Shore Health District. He was a travel companion of the first identified case. The Eastern Shore Health District is currently conducting a thorough investigation of the case and any potential exposures.
- The Central Virginia Health District, which serves Lynchburg and Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Charlotte counties, announced Friday its first case of COVID-19 illness in a resident of the district. The patient is a male in his 30s. He is isolated at home and monitoring his health.
- The West Piedmont Health District announced Friday its first case of COVID-19 illness in a resident of the district, which includes Martinsville and the counties of Franklin, Henry and Patrick. The patient is a woman in her 60s. She is isolated at home and monitoring her health.
- The Southside Health District announced Friday its first COVID-19 case in the district, serving Brunswick, Halifax and Mecklenburg counties. The Mecklenburg resident is a male in his 50s who had contact with a person in another part of Virginia who was diagnosed with COVID-19. The individual is isolated at home and monitoring his health.
- The Virginia Department of Health’s Central Shenandoah Health District announced Friday a COVID-19 case in Lexington. CSHD has a total of four positive COVID-19 cases, as of Friday.
Most of the new cases were identified by tests performed by private labs, said State Epidemiologist Dr. Lillian Peake.
With Virginia’s K-12 schools now entering the second week of state-mandated closures, Northam said he would address Monday whether school closings will be extended beyond March 27.
The novel coronavirus has spread statewide, with 28 cases in Central Virginia, 70 in Eastern Virginia, 95 in Northern Virginia, 20 in the northwestern region and six in Southwest Virginia since the first case was confirmed in the commonwealth on March 7. As of late afternoon March 22, there were about 330,000 cases worldwide, with nearly 14,400 deaths reported. There are more than 32,600 cases confirmed in the United States, with 402 deaths so far.
Also during the Sunday briefing, Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian J. Moran said that there have been no COVID-19 cases identified in the state’s prisons.
Northam added, “It is clear that COVID-19 is going to be with us for a long time — months, not weeks. We need to adjust to that new reality.”