coronavirus

COVID-19 virus

The Virginia Department of Health reported Saturday that there have been 35,749 coronavirus cases since the start of the state’s outbreak, an increase of 799 cases from Friday. The VDH numbers operate on a 19-hour delay.

Of these cases, 33,962 are confirmed and 1,787 are probable, meaning those individuals haven’t had a positive test but are symptomatic with known exposure to the virus.

In the Saturday update, the percentage of tests that came back positive is 15.4, which is down from the 16.1% reported last week. As testing increases, lower rates of people are testing positive, albeit by a small percentage.

Figures from the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association show that 1,384 coronavirus patients were in the hospital as of Saturday, 121 patients less than a week before. More than 5,000 patients hospitalized have been discharged. Ventilator use in the state remains at 21% and there are more than 4,200 available beds.

The VDH also reported 1,159 deaths, with 1,123 confirmed and 36 considered probable.

On May 15, VDH began reporting separate numbers for coronavirus tests and antibody tests, which record a person’s potential for immunity. People tested for the coronavirus reached 230,683 Saturday, which is 46,565 more tests since last Saturday. With antibody testing added, that number rises to 258,163.

Since May 16, the state has seen 31 new outbreaks, which is half of the amount seen the week before. This brings the total to 323 outbreaks in Virginia.

The hardest hit remain those in long-term care facilities, which report 4,404 cases in the state, 190 outbreaks and nearly 60% of the state’s death count. An outbreak is determined by whether the setting has at least two lab confirmed cases, according to the VDH.

Ethnicity data wasn’t recorded in 11,944 cases in Virginia, or 33%. Currently, Hispanics can fall under the black, white or “other” umbrella. Without the separation of Hispanic white and non-Hispanic white in data, it’s nearly impossible to gauge the impact on minorities, who are more likely to have living conditions, lines of work and lower access to care contribute to vulnerabilities amplified by a pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Virginia, existing data shows black and Hispanic residents are 46% of cases, 55.5% of hospitalizations and 28% of deaths.

Richmond has 979 cases, 130 hospitalizations and 19 deaths — black residents account for 17 of the 19 deaths. Almost 64% of cases in Richmond are Hispanic or black. Almost 40% of cases in Richmond fall in the age groups 30-49.

The Chesterfield Health District, which includes Colonial Heights and Powhatan, has 1,305 cases — the largest case jump in the region from last Saturday at 327. It also has 75 hospitalizations and 37 deaths.

Black Chesterfield residents make up 17.5% of cases and 46% of hospitalizations. Hispanics are 15.1% of cases. In Chesterfield, almost 62% of ethnicity cases have consistently gone unreported, as have race cases, of which 44.5% are not reported. More than half of cases are within the 30-59 range.

Henrico County has 1,411 cases, 176 hospitalizations and 118 deaths. Nearly 50% of deaths in the county, which has the most long-term care facilities in the region, are in the 80-plus age group. Black Henrico residents make up 36.1% of cases, while Hispanic residents make up about 9% of the existing data, which is missing 539 ethnicity cases.

Read more COVID-19 data on the VDH website: www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus

Staff writer Paul Whelan contributed to this report

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