Older Virginians Account for Three Quarters of COVID Deaths. What Is VDH Doing?

by Carol J. Bova

We’ve seen reports that close to half of the COVID-19 deaths are from outbreaks in long term-care facilities (i.e., nursing homes, assisted living or multi-care facilities, group homes). There’s another story though, when you compare COVID-19 facts by the age ranges the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) uses in its reports.

The first age range in the table below covers birth-to-29 years because the number of deaths is so low. The next two cover twenty years each, and the last is for everyone over 70. That group has experienced only 9.2% of all COVID-19 cases but 73.5% of all COVID-19 deaths in Virginia.

In spite of VDH point-prevalence testing in the summer and federal distribution of testing equipment and supplies, the outbreaks in long term care facilities have risen to 442, affecting a total of 11,200 residents with 54 new outbreaks, 1,849 cases and 279 deaths since September 1. Unfortunately, more of those recently infected will die.

The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) reported nursing homes with difficulties in obtaining personal protective equipment (PPE) on six of the last ten days. Have problems with PPE had anything to do with the over-70 death toll?

What happened since April with the Commonwealth’s $27 million contract with the medical logistics company, Northfield, that Governor Northam announced was to relieve the “severe shortage” of PPE?

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) hired McKinsey and Company, a global management consultant company, for three weeks in early April. The $585,000 contract was extended for another week and the company reduced their fee to $573,680 in late April. Part of the contract for the Week 4 Scope listed “additional support to operationalize additional interventions to unlock PPE supplies. … Develop a methodology for, and size state-wide PPE requirements (beyond public health system requirements…and options on the role of the state to ensure availability.”

McKinsey and Company’s website lists part of its work with the Commonwealth as, “Identifying approaches to increase personal protective equipment (PPE) capacity, across supply and demand, and supporting the state to kick-off an integrated program” and “Providing the state with supply chain and logistics insights and best practices.”

How did that work out? There don’t seem to be any statements from Governor Northam on the results of either contact.

The COVID-19 Long-Term Task Force lists Guidance, Primary Resources, Training Resources, and other documents on the VDH website. This is what the website says:

Governor Northam established the Virginia COVID-19 Long-Term Care Task Force on April 10  to:

  1. Ensure long-term care facilities have the resources they need to combat the virus;
  2. Strengthen staffing, testing and infection control measures at long-term care facilities; and
  3. Keep stakeholders informed about the impact of COVID-19 on long-term care facilities.

Issue areas being reviewed by the Task Force include facility staffing and financing, infection control, personal protective equipment and supplies,  COVID-19 testing, communications, and discharge planning.

Have they accomplished any of these goals? There is no statement how the Task Force has improved the COVID-19 situation in LTCFs, or if it has at all.

Where are the statements about what VDH is doing to reduce the death toll of our oldest citizens?

Our elder Virginians deserve better.


To get Virginia population numbers matching the VDH age ranges, I used  2018 estimates.

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15 responses to “Older Virginians Account for Three Quarters of COVID Deaths. What Is VDH Doing?”

    1. CrazyJD Avatar

      And that countered the point of Ms. Bova’s post exactly how?

      Ms. Bova cites some obvious and factually indisputable problems with what Virginia is doing. You engage in off-topic snark, at best a tuquoque argument. And so’s your momma.

      1. Steve Haner Avatar
        Steve Haner

        Hey, you clicked on it and so did I. Nancy Boy achieved his goal. It’s snarky but funny. Gee, I wonder who he will vote for…

        To Carol’s point, unless they lock down those facilities 100%, make the staff live in the bubble like NBA players, forgetaboutit. This sucker will keep getting in. And for that matter, the bubble-enclosed athletes are getting it now and then. The rule now is avoid crowded indoor spaces and nursing homes and retirement “warehouses” lead that list.

        1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

          Steve Schmidt if the GOP had dropped the albatross.

          I refer to Trump incorrectly as an albatross. He’s more like a tar baby. You just had to pick him up.

        2. Nancy_Naive Avatar

          My bother’s in-laws went into a nursing home in 2019. In April, that home locked its doors, and put intercom systems at a large set of windows. All visitations are separated by glass.

          I have no idea how they have managed with staff coming and going, or with new patients, but they did well with covid so far.

          Bro’s mother-in-law passed in June (not covid) but his father-in-law is still clicking.

      2. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        They’re dead. There is no counterpoint. The only question is how many more?

  1. LarrytheG Avatar

    re: the “bubble” approach.


    Nursing homes in more urbanized areas tend to have more rotating staff rather than fixed 24/7 staffing.

    As states struggle to keep the coronavirus out of nursing homes, employees who work at multiple facilities are thought to be behind some of the continuing spread.


    The question is how would you fix that?

    and no, I did not click on NN’s link… I knew… 😉

    and yes… Evita is very apt for our current status.

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      The problem with the nursing homes is a great example of the “cure worse than the disease” dilemma. The effective total shutdown would probably be deadly for the residents as well. Cutting off outside visitors was heartbreaking and may have added to the mortality. Hey, those are the train stations to oblivion in the best of times….

        1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

          Spoken like a woman who has never lain in a hospital bed, sucking air, and drowning in her own snot. The courage of the uninitiated is a wonderous thing. It keeps war as our favorite pass time.

          The late Sterling Moss was once asked what it took to be a great race driver. “A complete lack of imagination,” he replied, “Because if you could imagine what hitting a wall at 200MPH was like, you’d never race a car.”

          1. Spoken like someone who talks before knowing what has gone on in others’ lives, and thinks too much of themselves when they refuse to respect peoples’ differences of opinion in what they want for their lives. If that is what these folks want, that is their choice and to live by said consequences. By law, they have a right to decide their own fate. Not you. As they indicated, being old doesn’t make them where their rights and choices are invalided by your virtue signaling or acting like your “moral compass” is superior to theirs.

          2. Nancy_Naive Avatar

            I, like they, are entitled to an opinion, even if that opinion is the opinion of theirs, but if her life is better served on the gallows then let ’em swing. So much for the tenacity of life. Funny, man is the only animal that can’t stand themselves.

            Of course, in their selfishness, they can spread the disease, not just catch it.

            Now, after all that wonderful “captain of my fate” and right of life choice and all, please tell us your opinion of a woman’s right to choose.

  2. James Wyatt Whitehead V Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead V

    This has been going on for so long. I have run out of outrage. Carol is right our seniors deserve better.

  3. Nancy_Naive Avatar

    Everybody can just chillax. The WH is swooping in to save the elders from covid at just $200 per vote, er, I mean dose. The misappropriated funds can be used to buy Regeneron monoclonal antibody in lieu of HCQ.


  4. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    On a more general note: the US Population is 330,000,000 and in 5 months the number of deaths from Covid was alleged to be 200,000. The number of deaths as a percent of the population is 0.03939%, compared to number of cancer cases diagnosed in 2019 (1,762.450) and 607,000 deaths.

    And what’s the plan? Scare people with a virus, force them to wear masks and place them in quarantine, shut down the US economy, and count the number of dead every second of every day, in every News Headline blaring across the nation. By the way, ninety-nine and eight-tenths of the people who get the virus, recover. About one to two tenths of one percent who get the virus, die. Most all of them have other medical problems. Did you catch that ? Less than 1/2 of a percent die.

    Meanwhile close businesses around the nation = 35,000,000+ instantly unemployed. Remove entertainment and prohibit recreation; Close parks, gyms, bars, restaurants, sports. No dating. No touching. Isolate people. Dehumanize them. Close Temples and Churches, prohibit worship. Create a vacuum and let depression, anxiety, hopelessness and desperation set in.

    Then.. ignite hatred and civil unrest among groups, creating virtual Civil War. Empty the prisons because of the virus and fill the streets with criminals. Send in Antifa to vandalize property, as if they are freedom fighters. Undermine the law, Riot, Loot and Attack all Law Enforcement, but tell government to order a stand-down. Then Defund Law Enforcement and Abolish Police, and undermine the legitimacy of the upcoming presidential election of 2020, after having having failed to undermine the last such presidential election (2016) by fraud and deceit after hijacking federal government agencies, including without limitation, FBI, Department of Justice, and CIA, along with most of nation’s main stream media.

    We are all being played for suckers by those who want to radically change America, and establish their own one party leftist state that installs and keeps their own leftist regime in power. This is how you destroy a nation from within, in very short order. Will it work? I guess that depends on us.

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