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New COVID-19 Cases Continue to Decline in Virginia Despite Phased Openings

| June 8, 2020 | 0 Comments | News

Image provided by the Virginia Department of Health. Info dated June 8, 2020.

Virginia has seen a decrease in new COVID-19 cases even as the Commonwealth has begun to loosen restrictions on businesses.

New cases of COVID-19 continue to fall in Virginia even if overall number seem high. The trend is a good indicator as the Commonwealth has begun to open up as per the Gov. Ralph Northam’s “Virginia Forward” plan.

Virginia has had 51,251 total cases of COVID-19 reported to the Virginia Department of Health as of June 8, 2020. The department reports 5,143 total hospitalizations and 1,477 deaths from the virus.

Statewide numbers indicate that 10% of people who tested positive for COVID-19 have been hospitalized. This discounts people who are are asymptomatic or have such mild symptoms they are never tested. An expansion of testing may change this relationship between testing and hospitalizations.

Deaths from COVID-19 are 1/5 or 20% of those who are hospitalized for the virus.

The state began to open up via Phase I on May 19. Gov. Northam said he made the decision since hospital beds, ventilators and PPE were no longer in short supply. It does not mean the virus is no longer with us. 

New York Times reported that on June 7, Prince William County had 6,207 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

In Prince William County, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Prince William County increased by more than 600 just over the past week. This could be a result of increased testing.

Fairfax County leads the state with the most number of cases at 12,603. Next is Prince William with 6,278. Loundon County fares somewhat better with 3,147. 

Northern Virginia cities also have high numbers per populations. That data is as follows: Arlington 2,256, Alexandria 2,102, City of Manassas 1,248, Manassas Park 359, and Fairfax City 69.

As of June 1, the previous week, Prince William County had 5,663 cases, according to the New York Times.

Cases have increased slightly in the outer suburbs including the counties of Fauquier at 363, Stafford at 815, Culpepper at 767, Spotsylvania at 815, and the City of Fredericksburg at 196.

Other hot spots are Richmond and Henrico County. Cases in Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Hampton are on the rise. 

Virginia opened for Phase I on May 19 in most of the state. Northern Virginia entered Phase I on May 29. Phase I allowed for stores to open at 50% capacity and for restaurants to open their patios with certain precautions. On May 29, the governor also ordered regulations mandating opening people wear masks in most public places. 

Most of Virginia entered Phase II of reopening on June 5. Northern Virginia will wait until later in the month as the state continues to monitor the situation.

Trends of new COVID-19 case as of June 8, 2020, providing by the Virginia Department of Health.

It may be too early to fully assess the impact on openings on COVID-19 in the northern areas of Virginia as the incubation time ranges between 4 and 14 days. However, if trends continue in this way, the governor may be able to keep progressing through phases every two weeks.

Other incidents that could exacerbate cases are rallies both for Black Lives Matter and to reopen businesses. People also may be more inclined to meet with friends and resume activities as the state progresses through the phases.

What Phase II Looks Like

Phase II will allow Virginians to get back to enjoying much of social and entertainment venues that make for an enjoyable summer season. However, the governor recommends people use an abundance of caution.

Under Phase II, the Commonwealth will maintain a “Safer at Home” strategy,” with, “continued recommendations for social distancing, teleworking, and requiring individuals to wear face coverings in indoor public settings.”

The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase to 50 people. Police should not be called upon to monitor outside gatherings. Establishment, however, will have to adhere to these policies.

“All businesses should still adhere to physical distancing guidelines, frequently clean and sanitize high contact surfaces, and continue enhanced workplace safety measures,” said the governor.

Restaurant and beverage establishments will begin to offer indoor dining at 50 percent occupancy during Phase II.

Phase II also allows for fitness centers to open indoors at 30 percent occupancy. Venues such as museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, outdoor concerts, sporting arenas and performing arts venues can open at 30 percent occupancy as well.

Indoor and outdoor swimming pools may expand operations for exercise, diving, and swim instruction.

“The current guidelines for religious services, non-essential retail, and personal grooming services will largely remain the same in Phase Two,” said the governor.

Overnight summer camps, most indoor entertainment venues, amusement parks, fairs, and carnivals will remain closed throughout Phase II.

(For more details read here.) 

People should still take precaution.

© 2020, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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