COVID-19 Update: Hospitalizations, Deaths Still Rising

For what it’s worth, the number of new COVID-19 cases reported by the Virginia Department of Health this morning was 453, about the same level as it was two weeks ago. The official total now stands at 8,990. But with scarcity of testing supplies and delays in reporting, that figure isn’t worth much. As much as I like the idea that the spread of the virus has leveled off and we can get back to pre-COVID business as normal, I don’t put any credence in those numbers.

Instead, I look at the harder data — new hospitalizations (78 yesterday) and new deaths (23). Those numbers suggest that the disease spread faster last week than in the previous week, as seen in the chart above, although the rate of increase in the spread appears to be decelerating.

It may be premature to start loosening the social-distancing restrictions, but it’s not too soon to start thinking about how to go about it. I’ll have more thoughts on that soon.

— JAB

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10 responses to “COVID-19 Update: Hospitalizations, Deaths Still Rising

  1. James,
    At what level of economic pain, do people reach the conclusion that the cure is orders of magnitude worse than the disease? Also, there will be deaths and illnesses resulting from the lockdown strategy. Net lives saved by this strategy could be significantly negative. Coronavirus is not the only public health crisis in the Commonwealth. In hind sight we will find that the current strategy is unimaginably costly.

    • VHHA reports 1296 hospitalized, and the VDH reports 1500 (with a footnote that the VDH number is probably too low). This is getting annoying. This is week six. The failure to even coordinate tracking is amazing at this point.

      • Also the spikes in the death data look like someone is holding back the data for approval in batches almost weekly. Looks almost predictable like we have a big spike in deaths coming soon for one day.

        The implication is maybe we have spread out the peak, but we cannot really say if it is going up, down ,or level.

        New York just cancelled June activities…hard to imagine we Virginia want summer activities as usual. Seems like we should give priority to businesses and cut back on recreation type summer activities. But so far plans are for a normal summer.

        Taylor Swift cancelled her concerts to 2021, which at least someone is thinking this thru.

    • What we are witnessing, particularly in Virginia, is a colossal failure of government. All the incompetence, sloth, kick backs, back scratching, money exchanging and gross politicization of government, its policy, its law making, its regulation, and it’s faulty and wasteful executions now are being exposed in painful ways, simply because some governments, on easy street for so long, are simply now fumbling around in dark, after years of sloth, inattention, and corrupt practices, unable to deal with crisis, much less real problems, instead of their usual fare of phony problems created for political advantage.

      A lot of rot in government is going to be exposed here by investigation too. This includes the nation’s nursing home industry, including Virginia’s. The Federal government is getting on these cases all over, taking the states normal oversight out of the process, as some states, will be targets, given their long standing and deeply embedded untrustworthy practices, doing great harm to the most vulnerable of their citizens, the elderly. Many jigs are up.

  2. The number of positive cases and hospitalizations in DOC continues to rise. The latest report shows a total of 116 active incarcerated with 8 of those hospitalized, compared to 74 and 6 respectively in the previous day’s report. The big increase came at Haynesville Correctional Center, near Warsaw on the Northern Neck. It jumped from 5 to 45, with 1 hospitalized. The cumulative number of positive cases went from 95 to 139. The two pieces of good news in the data was the decrease in the number of positives cases at VCCW, the women’s prison in Goochland, from 24 to 18, and no increase in the number of deaths (there has been one). However, the number of hospitalizations of VCCW offenders went from 4 to 5.

    DOC announced yesterday that, although no one at the facility has tested positive yet, it would test every offender and staff member at Deerfield Correctional Center. That is the facility in which most of the geriatric offenders in the system are housed. It also has an assisted living unit, as well as some nursing home beds. Most of the offenders are housed in dormitories The population is approximately 1,000.

    Last week, the agency conducted “point of prevalence” testing in the Harrisonburg community corrections facility and at Haynesville, dormitory facilities at which positive tests had previously been reported. That expanded testing probably accounts for the increases reported in the last two days in the number of offenders testing positive at those facilities. https://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/virginia-prisons-increase-covid-19-testing-with-139-inmates-and-50-staff-testing-positive/article_f6aaced2-d705-58d5-9ade-419f7a837dd3.html

  3. The VDH website indicates that there have been no deaths among the incarcerated, even though DOC reports 1 fatality.

  4. One would think that “deaths” would be a hard number. But they’re not. See this article in the Free-Lance Star: https://www.fredericksburg.com/news/local/health-officials-change-format-in-reporting-covid-19-cases/article_f314b253-a643-54c8-aaec-6bdcd4300e27.html

    The Rappahannock Area Health District has reported five deaths from COVID-19 in Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford.

    But Mary Washington Hospital has confirmed five deaths from the novel coronavirus, and local county officials—who have gotten daily updates from the local health district—have said there have been three deaths at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center.

    Which is accurate, five deaths or eight deaths?

  5. Looks like there is not a standard/uniform way to reports deaths , AND it looks like there is no mandatory reporting to one entity like VDH.

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