Uh, Oh, COVID Hospitalization Numbers Creeping Back Up

Here’s the latest from the Excel spreadsheet of John Butcher, publisher of Cranky’s blog: Daily COVID-19 hospitalizations are creeping back up, as can be seen in the graph above. And the total number of COVID-19 patients is rebounding as well as shown in the graph below:

These are not numbers anyone wants to see, least of all me, as it will reinforce Governor Ralph Northam’s predilection for maintaining his Vulcan Death Grip on Virginia’s economy. But the numbers are what they are. They’re not caused by any change in reporting protocols. They don’t reflect an increase in the number of tests. It’s a trend that bears watching.

It would be really helpful to know if the increase in hospitalizations is a generalized trend or whether it is limited to certain geographic areas or demographic groups. But that breakdown is not available on the public COVID-19 dashboards.

There are currently no comments highlighted.

16 responses to “Uh, Oh, COVID Hospitalization Numbers Creeping Back Up

  1. And this is the entire point of continuing restrictions and using masks.

    Some folks just don’t believe it and actually won’t until the numbers actually do change.

  2. Looks like the echo chamber JUST discovered the WHO recommendations which have been that way for some time – not new.

    These recommendations are NOT “settled science”. They are, in fact, a good example of science that is still evolving :

    Should you or shouldn’t you wear a face mask during the coronavirus pandemic? Here’s what health organizations and top experts say.

    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The organization said Friday that new evidence about people who are not showing symptoms being able to spread the virus in close proximity has led it to recommend “cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.” The CDC said cloth face coverings made at home or low cost can be used as a voluntary health measure.

    The World Health Organization: WHO is standing by its recommendation to only wear a mask if you are sick or caring for someone who is sick. “Mask wearing by the general public is not among the WHO’s recommendations,” the organization said.

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy: He said masks should not be used as a substitute for social distancing, but rather can be used as a supplement. “Because of some recent information that the virus can actually be spread even when people just speak as opposed to coughing and sneezing, the better part of valor is that when you’re out and you can’t maintain that six-foot distance to wear some sort of facial covering.” has said that the White House Task Force is actively discussing guidelines on masks.

    CNN’s Sanjay Gupta: He explained that masks could help people who have coronavirus but not have symptoms from spreading the virus. “The way to think about this mask issue is that it’s not really, still, for people who are not infected. This is more for people who might be infected and don’t know it, and to try and lower the likelihood that they will spread this to somebody else.” He stressed that social distancing is the best best way to fight the spread of coronavirus, and said that N95 respirators should be reserved for health care workers.

    This comes under the heading of what is prudent… If you don’t know for sure, what might be prudent?

    It should not be a partisan issue… but it is… in no small part because of more and continuing idiocy at the highest level of governance.

    It’s comical to see people who do wear masks – siding with those who say masks are not needed… lordy

  3. The COVID-19 numbers at the Department of Corrections have continued to go up, primarily because the agency is conducting point prevalence testing for the whole system, as reported by Frank Green of the Richmond-Times Dispatch. As of the first part of this week, about 11,000 offenders had been tested, more than one-third of the entire inmate population, with more facilities scheduled for testing later in the week.

    It has been a couple of weeks since I reported on the DOC numbers. Since then, the total cumulative number of inmates testing positive has risen by about 450, from 719 to 1,171. Predictably, positive cases have shown up in a couple of additional facilities. On the bright side, there is only two positive case in the Virginia Correctional Center for Women and one in Central Virginia Correctional Unit, the two facilities in which the virus first appeared.

    The number of inmates hospitalized has decreased from 15 in my last report to 12 in the latest DOC report. Unfortunately, there has been one additional death, for a total of 6. Another unhappy aspect has been the significant increase in the number of DOC staff testing positive, from 77 two weeks ago to 132 currently.

    Here is the summary table:

    Summary of COVID-19 Cases in Va. Dept. of Corrections
    As of 9:00 a.m., May 28

    Cumulative testing positive 1,171
    Total Deaths 6
    Active positive cases in facilities 539
    Number in hospital 12
    Recovered 614
    Staff currently tested positive 132

    • It strikes me that the DOC has done a much better job of handling the virus in correctional facilities than the VDH has done in nursing homes. Would you say that’s a fair statement?

      • That is a good point. DOC also seems to have done a better job than a lot of other state correctional agencies.

        It would be useful for the administration, at some point, to closely compare the approaches taken with the two types of facilities. The first factor that comes to my mind is that DOC had total control of its facilities; VDH did not have control of nursing homes. The nursing homes are run by a variety of private owners, each having its own approach. Another factor would be the nature of the populations. Although inmates are not the healthiest folks, for the most part, they are healthier than those in nursing homes. DOC shut down the prisons pretty tight–controlled movement within the facilities and allowed few people, other than staff, to come in. I don’t know about nursing homes.

        A better point of comparison might be the privately-run nursing homes with the two state-run veterans care centers. The populations would be comparable. I have not heard of any significant outbreak in those facilities and, if there had been, I think it would have been reported in the news media.

    • The issue with corrections is similar in some respects to the issue with nursing homes and for that matter many businesses and that is the staff do not stay at the facility – they go home and when they do, they may well interact with others.. and get infected and take it back to the facility.

      It’s reallly not unlike other businesses.

      The prisons and nursing homes experience could and should help us with figuring out how to reopen other businesses and what both are telling us is that you have to test and contact-trace… otherwise, staff will go home, get infected and bring it back to the facility.

      Nursing home workers often work at more than one job – something some kinds of businesses have with their workers.

      Point is – we should be learning from Prisons and Nursing homes – not trying to assign blame.

      • It’s not a matter of “assigning blame.” It’s a matter of identifying where the problem is and moving to address it.

        • naw.. not when you’re doing the same thing over and over…dead horse style!

          😉

          What the prisons and the nursing homes and meat packing plants can tell us is how to re-open other businesses and yet we don’t talk about that – we just keep going back to keep sniffing the bad stuff..

          Amazingly, testing and contract tracing and masks are in play at prisons and nursing homes – and yet the critics keep questioning if we need testing, contract-tracing and masks… no?

          How about a POST that says ” What can we learn from the prisons and nursing homes about how to reopen”?

          Novel concept, eh?

  4. Well DOC gets little credit from the Virginia critics of nursing homes!

    I still think the Achilles Heel for DOC or Nursing Homes – or any other business is where the staff goes when they are not at work.

    DOC seems to have a “plan” … they are not perceived as passive or uninvolved – just the opposite – and yet despite their many efforts, they still have some COVID19 – which I think shows just how tough it’s going to be for any business that similarly has a staff – that then leaves and goes home then returns to work.

    Dick said earlier that he thought vendors might be bringing COVID19 to the prisons. Perhaps, is that how we think it’s gotten into the nursing homes?

    I’m somewhat more persuaded that it’s staff leaving work and going to other places then returning to work – infected but Dick probably have more accurate info.

    But yes… DOC is having success because – they are wearing masks, they are testing and they are doing contact tracing.

    That’s something that other businesses ought to be doing also because we know it does work with COR.

    • DOC staff indeed leave the institutions and then return. In fact, many correctional officers have second jobs (a reflection of the low pay for COs). Of course, during the pandemic, those second jobs may not be available.

      DOC has a separate screening tool for employees, who must assess their risk daily before reporting for work. All persons entering a prison are screened, using a forehead thermometer.

      The agency was not testing every inmate at first (called point prevalence testing), but started doing that several weeks ago in facilities in which inmates had shown symptoms. Now, it is testing inmates in facilities in which there has been no occurrence of an inmate with symptoms. And, it is having results. For instance, Greensville, the largest prison with about 2900 inmates, but which there had been none with symptoms, about 200 asymptomatic offenders tested positive. Those inmates can be isolated from the others.

      DOC inmates and staff were provided masks early in the process and required to wear them.

      Obviously, it is easier to test a prison population and trace contacts, as well as enforce the wearing of masks, than it would be for the general population.

  5. re: ” Greensville, the largest prison with about 2900 inmates, but which there had been none with symptoms, about 200 asymptomatic offenders tested positive. ”

    WOW! That’s about 7%.

    So we know something pretty important as a direct result of the prisons doing a lot of testing!

    I’d not be surprised to see similar rates of infection at workplaces with workers in close proximity and/or have second jobs – like nursing homes, restaurants.. and similar..

    and a GOOD reason to wear masks if the general population has similar numbers of asymptomatic infection.

  6. One interesting way to look at it, if you have the zipcode data, you can compare how the zipcodes are doing from week to week, to see where COVID cases are increasing.

    Thankfully my zip code has been falling backwards with fewer new cases than some other areas.

    • I dunno TBill – we have 5 or more zipcodes in the Fredericksburg region…people live in one place and shop and work in other zips…

      Many of our folks live in the Fredericksburg region and work in NoVa – there is quite a bit of moving through different zipcodes.

  7. From Fred Costello:

    I cannot see any change in the trend that would have made the Fairfax County supervisors allow Phase 1 to start on May 29. It could have started much earlier.

Leave a Reply