Va. COVID-19 rate shoots past 7%
As governor sets restrictions, cases exceed 11K
Virginia’s COVID-19 cases continue to rise, with 11,160 new cases and 93 deaths recorded over the past week, according to the Virginia Department of Health’s Nov. 16 report.
The total number of fatalities in Virginia stands at 3,806 and the total number of cases statewide is now 204,637. The seven-day positivity rate rose to 7.3% from 6.1% last week. Although the highest percentages are occurring in the Southwest region of the state, which borders Tennessee and Kentucky, where COVID cases have been spiking, most regions across the state are seeing higher numbers.
The nation has now surpassed 11 million cases, with more than 1 million added in the past week, and many states are placing new restrictions on residents and travelers as Thanksgiving approaches, which could bring an even greater spike in infections, public health experts say.
On Friday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced new restrictions that went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, including limiting gatherings to 25 people — although worship services, amusement parks, schools and essential workplaces are not affected by the order. The previous cap was 250 people.
Also, all people ages 5 and older are required to wear face masks in indoor public spaces, a change from the previous mask policy for people ages 10 and up.
Enforcement of social distancing, mask wearing and cleaning at grocery stores, pharmacies and other essential retail businesses has been increased, with violations leading to possible Class 1 misdemeanor charges, and there is now an on-site alcohol curfew of 10 p.m. for all businesses that serve drinks.
“COVID-19 is surging across the country, and while cases are not rising in Virginia as rapidly as in some other states, I do not intend to wait until they are. We are acting now to prevent this health crisis from getting worse,” Northam said in a statement Friday. “Everyone is tired of this pandemic and restrictions on our lives. I’m tired, and I know you are tired too. But as we saw earlier this year, these mitigation measures work. I am confident that we can come together as one commonwealth to get this virus under control and save lives.”
The following health districts reported positivity rates above 10% as of Nov. 12:
- Alleghany (cities of Covington and Salem and the counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig and Roanoke) — 11.2%, up from 10.0% on Nov. 5
- Cumberland Plateau (Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell counties) — 16.5%, up from 13.2%
- Lenowisco (Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the city of Norton) — 15.0%, up from 13.9%
- Mount Rogers (cities of Bristol and Galax and counties of Bland, Carroll, Grayson, Smyth, Washington and Wythe) — 15.9%, up from 11.8%
- Rappahannock Rapidan (Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock counties) — 10.6%, up from 5.4%
- Roanoke — 10.8%, up from 10.3%
- West Piedmont (Franklin, Henry and Patrick counties and the city of Martinsville) — 16.7%, up from 14.7%
Several Virginia universities report COVID-19 rates among students, faculty and staff members, although some universities use different reporting metrics and methods. Here are the most current university stats:
- James Madison University: 1,633 total cases since July 1. The overall positivity rate of student tests at the university’s health center was 1.4% as of Nov. 16.
- Virginia Tech: 1,661 positive tests since Aug. 3, with 72 new cases from Nov. 9-15. The seven-day positivity rate as of Nov. 15 is 3.0%.
- University of Virginia: 1,193 positive cases among students and employees reported since Aug. 17. The university recorded 59 new cases from Nov. 6-12, according to its tracker.
- Virginia Commonwealth University: 450 total positive tests, including 393 student cases, as of Nov. 16. According to prevalence testing, the positivity rate is 0.17% as of Nov. 16.
- Old Dominion University: 187 positive cases out of 7,046 tests performed as of Nov. 16. From Nov. 8-14, there were 14 new positive tests.
- George Mason University: 168 positive cases among students and employees between Aug. 17 and Nov. 15, including 27 positive tests in the past week.
- Radford University: 543 total positive cases among students and employees as of Nov. 10, with 5 new cases between Nov. 4-10. Cumulative positivity rate is 10.34% as of Nov. 10. The dashboard is updated each Tuesday.
- Liberty University: 68 positive cases from Oct. 28-Nov. 10 among students and staff, out of a total 668 cases between Aug. 16-Nov. 10.
These are the 10 Virginia localities that have seen the most cases in the state, as of Nov. 16:
- Fairfax County: 26,829
- Prince William County: 15,979
- Virginia Beach: 9,384
- Loudoun County: 8,894
- Chesterfield County: 8,169
- Henrico County: 7,281
- Richmond: 6,007
- Norfolk: 5,965
- Chesapeake: 5,559
- Arlington County: 5,380
Globally, there are 54.7 million reported COVID-19 cases and 1,321,712 confirmed deaths as of Nov. 16. The United States, which has the most confirmed cases and deaths worldwide, has seen 11.1 million confirmed cases so far, with 246,758 deaths attributed to the coronavirus since February.
Below is the latest data from VDH: