More than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Virginia | Positivity rate jumps to 8.8%

More than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Virginia | Positivity rate jumps to 8.8%
COVID-19 cases in Virginia. (Source: VDH)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported 244,503 total coronavirus cases throughout the state Thursday, a 2,023 case increase from Wednesday.

The state totals stand at 4,147 deaths as of Thursday, with 15,014 hospitalizations since the pandemic began.

A total of 3,361,001 tests have been given throughout the state. The 7-day PCR testing positivity rate increased slightly to 8.8 percent. At the peak of the pandemic, that figure was more than 20 percent.

At the beginning of the pandemic, health officials used the positivity rate as a way to measure if enough testing was being done.

“Based on a World Health Organization analysis, 10% (or less) was the goal to shoot for. If 10% of PCR tests among symptomatic or high risk individuals were positive, then we were conducting enough testing to find stray cases that couldn’t be found through contact tracing,” the health department said.

While it took a while to get to that point, health officials can now use the percent positivity to look at trends over time.

“An increase or decrease over time can indicate that new infections are increasing or decreasing. At this point, percent positivity should not be used to determine the percent of the population that has a new infection, but rather the trends over time,” the department said.

VDH uses the number of new cases per 100,000 population to describe new infections, not positive tests per 100,000 population because some people will be tested more than once.

Twenty-six new outbreaks were reported Thursday. The total number of outbreaks in the state is now at 1,565.

A majority of the outbreaks are in long-term care facilities. There are currently 34,405 cases associated with the outbreaks, including 14,385 healthcare workers.

Central VA Case Highlights:

  • Chesterfield: 9,631 cases, 514 hospitalizations, 135 deaths
  • Henrico: 8,615 cases, 604 hospitalizations, 260 deaths
  • Richmond: 6,840 cases, 507 hospitalizations, 82 deaths
  • Hanover: 2,534 cases, 164 hospitalizations, 54 deaths
  • Petersburg: 1,136 cases, 95 hospitalizations, 31 deaths
  • Goochland: 463 cases, 34 hospitalizations, 7 deaths

The numbers reported by the Virginia Health Department are only updated once a day. See the full daily summary and breakdown here.

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