COVID-19 cases trending slightly down

Published 8:03 pm Sunday, August 16, 2020

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By Jimmy LaRoue

Staff Writer


The Western Tidewater Health District still has one of the highest percentage of people in the state who have tested positive for COVID-19, but that has dropped slightly over the past week.

The seven-day average of positive COVID-19 tests in the district, which includes Franklin, Southampton County, Isle of Wight County and Suffolk, is 13.4% as of Aug. 13, down from 14.2% Aug. 4. Statewide, the seven-day positivity rate is 7.3%, which has stayed roughly level for about a month.

Among health districts in the region, the Western Tidewater Health District has the highest seven-day positivity rate, and it has the fourth-highest positivity rate among the 35 health districts in Virginia.

The Lenowisco Health District, which encompasses the southwestern Virginia counties of Wise, Lee and Scott, as well as Norton, has the highest seven-day average at 15.5%. Three other South Hampton Roads localities have 7-day positive rates in the top 10 in the state — Portsmouth (12.8%), Chesapeake (12.5%) and Norfolk (9.5%).

Suffolk has seen 1,351 positive COVID-19 cases, including 120 in the past seven days through Aug. 13. In the same time period, Isle of Wight County has seen 37 of its 415 cases, while Franklin has had 27 of its 201 cases and Southampton County 21 of its 278 cases.

Across the region, 81 people have died of COVID-19, including 53 from Suffolk. Four deaths from Suffolk have been reported in the past week, while no deaths have been reported from Franklin, Isle of Wight or Southampton in that time span.

The health district currently has 14 outbreaks, with Franklin and Suffolk each with one long-term care facility that is currently classified by the Virginia Department of Health as having an outbreak in progress. At Harmony at Harbour View in Suffolk, there have been 22 positive COVID-19 cases and no deaths, first reporting to the state department of health July 12.

There is also an outbreak in progress at The Village at Manor Care assisted living facility in Franklin, which was first reported to the Virginia Health Department June 23. It has six cases of COVID-19, and information on the number of deaths at the facility have been suppressed by the health department to preserve anonymity.

In the Eastern Region, which includes Suffolk and all of Hampton Roads, there are 489 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19, and 2,365 people hospitalized overall, with 3,348 staffed beds available at the region’s hospitals. The Eastern Region’s hospitals have a surge capacity of 4,018. Sixty-six people are on ventilators, and 112 people are currently in intensive care.

Testing events have been scheduled in the health district for August.

JIMMY LAROUE is a staff writer for the Suffolk News-Herald. Contact him at

Upcoming COVID-19 testing

Aug. 17 — Paul D. Camp Community College, 100 N. College Drive, Franklin, 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.

Aug. 21 — Sentara BelleHarbour, 3920A Bridge Road, Suffolk, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Aug. 22 — Sentara BelleHarbour, 3920A Bridge Road, Suffolk, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Aug. 24 — Main Street Baptist Church, 517 Main St., Smithfield, 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m.

Aug. 28 — Sentara Obici Hospital, 2800 Godwin Blvd., Suffolk, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Western Tidewater Health District

Total cases: 2,245

Hospitalized: 135

Deaths: 81

Outbreaks: 14 (Long-term care facilities: 9, Congregate setting: 2, Correctional facility: 2, Healthcare setting: 1)

Associated cases with outbreaks: 447

Cases in health care workers: 54

Cases among age groups

0-9: 54

10-19: 143

20-29: 332

30-39: 354

40-49: 310

50-59: 381

60-69: 285

70-79: 174

80+: 191

Cases among race/ethnicity

Black: 982

White: 494

Other: 44

Latino: 23

Two or more races: 15

Native American: 2

Not reported: 673

Asian/Pacific Islander: 12

Cases by sex

Female: 1,237

Male: 1,006

Not reported: 2


Seven-day positivity rate

Western Tidewater Health District: 13.2%

State: 7.3%

Source: Virginia Department of Health as reported Aug. 13.