Hampton Roads communities see gradual uptick in cases

APTOPIX Virus Outbreak Virginia
Virus Outbreak Virginia
Posted at 1:34 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 06:51:17-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Communities in Hampton Roads are generally seeing gradual increases in the number of coronavirus cases, according to data from the Virginia Department of Health.

As of Monday morning, there are 8,990 cases in Virginia with now 300 reported deaths. Most Hampton Roads communities have seen a steady build up of cases over time, with Virginia Beach seeing the most at 281.

Virginia Beach saw a jump in the number of reported cases a few weeks ago as more testing became available, but over the last week about four new cases have been added on average every day.

VDH's reporting reflects the total number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic and is not the number of active cases.

Fairfax County has the most cases in the Commonwealth with 1,925.

Isle of Wight County has seen nearly a tripling of cases in the past week from 33 to 86 cases, but health officials say that doesn't represent a spike. "I'm not seeing large, what I would call, spikes - just a general continued upward trend for sure that we're watching closely," said Dr. Todd Wagner, District Sirector for the Western Tidewater Health District.

Wagner attributes the increase there to more test results coming back and more cases being input into the system, which he says can sometimes be delayed as his small staff has been focused on contact tracing. "In my region, we continue to see a slow uptick of cases sort of day to day," he said.

The Western Tidewater Health District has six outbreaks, including five at long term care facilities. VDH considers an outbreak two or more cases reported at a facility.

"Obviously, long term care facilities are continue to be a priority issue for us," said Wagner.

Still, statewide the number of deaths has doubled from 149 on April 13 to 300 on April 20. Health officials say deaths lag new infections and say social distancing is helping.

"You're beginning to see less hospitalizations, less need for longer hospital stays," said Wagner. "What we're doing is working. Social distancing is helping. We certainly need to keep that effort moving forward."

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