More than 2,800 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Virginia | Positivity rate jumps to 9.5%

More than 2,800 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Virginia | Positivity rate jumps to 9.5%
COVID-19 cases in Virginia. (Source: VDH)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported 247,380 total coronavirus cases throughout the state Friday, a 2,877 case increase from Thursday.

The state totals stand at 4,160 deaths as of Friday, with 15,116 hospitalizations since the pandemic began.

A total of 3,386,624 tests have been given throughout the state. The 7-day PCR testing positivity rate jumped from 8.8 percent on Dec. 3 to 9.5% on Dec. 4. 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.

Seventeen new outbreaks were reported Friday. The total number of outbreaks in the state is now at 1,582.

A majority of the outbreaks are in long-term care facilities. There are currently 34,810 cases associated with the outbreaks, including 14,543 healthcare workers.

Central VA Case Highlights:

  • Chesterfield: 9,732 cases, 518 hospitalizations, 135 deaths
  • Henrico: 8,710 cases, 611 hospitalizations, 260 deaths
  • Richmond: 6,896 cases, 510 hospitalizations, 82 deaths
  • Hanover: 2,583 cases, 165 hospitalizations, 56 deaths
  • Petersburg: 1,142 cases, 95 hospitalizations, 31 deaths
  • Goochland: 470 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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