COVID-19

By MIKE STILL

The LENOWISCO Health District added two COVID-19 deaths and two reported outbreaks, according to Saturday’s state health data.

The Virginia Department of Health (www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus) reported the state saw 1,300 new cases and 11 deaths in the prior 24 hours for pandemic totals of 132,940 infections and 2,722 deaths.

Southwest Virginia accounted for six new cases and two deaths, for 827 cases and 15 deaths in the LENOWISCO Health District during the pandemic. Wise County added four cases and one death for 377 cases and five deaths, while Lee County saw two cases and one death for pandemic totals of 246 and five deaths.

Scott County’s total remained at 172 cases and four deaths. Norton stayed at 32 cases and no deaths.

The VDH also reported two new COVID-19 outbreaks in the LENOWISCO Health district for a pandemic total of 20. The two latest were in unspecified congregate settings. According to the VDH website, a congregate setting is “an environment where a number of people reside, meet or gather in close proximity for either a limited or extended period of time.”

According to the current VDH webpage, those settings can include: homeless shelters, group homes, prisons, detention centers, schools and workplaces.

The current VDH definition does not include other settings found earlier this summer on the department website, which also listed: adult daycare, agricultural or food production, businesses or workplaces, camps or campgrounds, community events, event venues, gyms or spas, independent living or retirement facilities, labor or migrant camps, military bases, neighborhood streets, private homes and shelters.

Red Onion State Prison’s case total Saturday had 20 inmate cases and no active staff/contractor cases, according to the Virginia Department of Corrections COVID-19 webpage (https://vadoc.virginia.gov/news-press-releases/2020/covid-19-updates/).

Wallens Ridge State Prison in Big Stone Gap remained at one active staff/contractor case. Wise Correctional Center near Coeburn posted no cases, for a pandemic total of no zero.

The Virginia-wide testing rate for people with nasal swab and antigen tests in Saturday’s VDH report was 1,879,908 of 8.63 million state residents, or 21.78%. For nasal swab testing only, 1,744,640 people have been tested to date, or 20.21%.

In the LENOWISCO district, according to Saturday’s online data, 13,040 of the region’s 86,471 residents have been tested via nasal swab sample for COVID-19, or 15.08%.

Pandemic-wide testing rates by locality were:

— Lee County, 4,335 of 23,423, or 18.51%

— Norton, 1,303 of 3,981, or 32.73%

— Wise County, 4,826 of 37,383, or 12.91%

— Scott County, 2,576 of 21,566, or 11.94%