VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Hampton Roads saw 234 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, according to data by the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission. That sets a new record.
Virginia Beach saw 63 new cases, Emergency Management Director Erin Sutton told the city council on Tuesday. "Folks have been home since March and the weather is good, so we’re seeing increases in social gatherings," said Sutton.
With Phase Three of reopening underway across Virginia, health officials expected an increase in the number of cases. They say testing has also ramped up. "It definitely was expected as restrictions were lifted," said Sutton. "We knew that this was going to happen."
Higher numbers have been reported in people under 30, leading to more cases, but so far there are fewer hospitalizations than in the spring. "It's a healthier population with less underlying conditions, so the cases of COVID may not be as severe, and they may be riding out the infection and recovering at home," she said.
Still, with the busy Fourth of July drawing crowds to the Oceanfront and people gathering together, Sutton predicts the number of cases will continue to rise. "I think we will see a continued increase in the cases and in seven to 10 days we may see some increase in hospitalizations," she said.
She and other health officials hope people will wear masks and practice social distancing to help level the numbers off.