COVID-19

Daily new death and new case totals eased in far Southwest Virginia, according to Friday’s state data report.

The Virginia Department of Health said the LENOWISCO Health District tallied 27 cases and two deaths for totals of 2,617 and 57 deaths during the pandemic.

Scott County had 13 cases for totals of 672 and 12 deaths. Wise County saw eight cases and one death for 1,097 and 33 deaths.

Lee County added six cases and a death for 783 and 12 deaths.

Norton remained at 65 cases and no deaths.

The VDH reported that the state had 2,544 new cases and 16 additional deaths in the prior 24 hours for pandemic totals of 213,331 cases and 3,912 deaths.

The statewide testing rate for people with nasal swab and antigen tests in Friday’s VDH report was 3,439,600 of 8.63 million residents, or 39.86%. For nasal swab testing only, 3,035,632 people have been tested to date, or 35.18%. In the LENOWISCO district, 22,394 of the region’s 86,471 residents have been tested via nasal swab sample for COVID-19, or 25.9%.

testing rates by locality

• Lee County, 7,042 of 23,423, or 30.06%

• Norton, 2,104 of 3,981, or 52.85%

• Wise County, 8,417 of 37,383, or 22.52%

• Scott County, 4,831 of 21,566, or 22.4%

According to the VDH’s weekly school outbreak dashboard, an outbreak at Gate City Middle School in Scott County remains in progress with seven students and/or staff affected. Another outbreak in Scott County — at Gate City Christian School— was reported on Nov. 10 and has affected fewer than five students and/or staff.

An outbreak at Union Primary School in Wise County remains pending closing with five students and/or staff affected.

Outbreaks at Lee High School and St. Charles Elementary School in Lee County have been designated closed.

Red Onion State Prison remained at 20 inmate cases and no active staff/contractor cases, according to the Virginia Department of Corrections.

Wallens Ridge State Prison in Big Stone Gap remained at no inmate cases and one active staff/contractor case. Wise Correctional Center near Coeburn remained at 16 inmate cases but added one case for a single active staff case.

The seven-day average rate of positive PCR test results in the LENOWISCO district in Friday’s report rose from 15.6% to 16.9%. The statewide positivity rate decreased from 7.1% to 7%.

According to Friday’s VDH pandemic measures dashboard, cases in the far southwest region of Virginia — including the LENOWISCO Health District — were ranked as rising after a 60-day increase in cases.

The far southwest region ranking for percent positivity of COVID-19 testing results remained increasing based on a 41-day increase in that measure.

All four school systems in the LENOWISCO district — Wise, Lee and Scott counties and Norton — were ranked as highest-risk based on the 14-day case incidence rate in the district. Scott County and Norton city schools were ranked higher-risk for percent change in seven-day case incidences. Wise and Lee counties and Norton city schools were ranked lowest-risk.

Where to be tested

Do you think you might have COVID-19? Local health departments provide free testing.

The LENOWISCO Health Department, which covers Norton and Lee, Wise and Scott counties, posts regular updates on testing sites across the district and offers free COVID-19 tests at its county offices. Those seeking a test must call in advance for an appointment. Contact numbers for the county offices are:

• Lee County (Jonesville) — (276) 346-2011

• Scott County (Gate City) — (276) 386-1312

• Wise County and Norton (Wise) — (276) 328-8000

Additional testing and COVID-19 precaution information can be found at the LENOWISCO Health District’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Lenowisco.

The Health Wagon will partner with the Virginia Department of Health to offer 17 sessions of free drive-thru testing at Food City in St. Paul through Dec. 31. Call (276) 328-8850 for an appointment.

In Southwest Virginia, online resources are available to help evaluate whether residents might be infected and where to get a COVID-19 test. The Virginia Department of Health’s COVIDCHECK (https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covidcheck/) can walk a user through symptoms they may be experiencing and help direct them to their local health department office or other available testing sites.