COVID-19

Far Southwest Virginia’s COVID-19 case total surpassed 30, according to Sunday’s state health data.

The Virginia Department of Health (www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus) reported that the state had 900 new cases and 11 deaths in the prior 24 hours for pandemic totals of 166,138 cases and 3,433 deaths.

The LENOWISCO Health District added 34 cases for totals of 1,218 and 23 deaths during the pandemic. Lee County added 18 cases for 392 and nine deaths. Scott County saw 11 cases for 272 and five deaths.

Wise County added five cases for 520 cases and nine deaths. Norton remained at 44 cases and no deaths.

The statewide testing rate for people with nasal swab and antigen tests in Sunday’s VDH report was 2,571,681 of 8.63 million residents, or 29.8%. For nasal swab testing only, 2,386,778 people have been tested to date, or 27.66%. In the LENOWISCO district, 17,494 of the region’s 86,471 residents have been tested via nasal swab sample for COVID-19, or 20.23%.

Pandemic-wide testing rates by locality were:

• Lee County, 5,591 of 23,423, or 23.87%.

• Norton, 1,747 of 3,981, or 43.88%.

• Wise County, 6,443 of 37,383, or 17.24%.

• Scott County, 3,713 of 21,566, or 17.22%.

Red Onion State Prison’s case totals on Sunday remained at 20 inmate cases and one active staff/contractor case, 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 stayed at no inmate cases and three active staff/contractor cases. Wise Correctional Center near Coeburn added a staff/contractor case for no inmate cases and three active staff cases.

The seven-day average rate of positive PCR test results in the LENOWISCO district in Sunday’s report rose from 8.4% to 10.1%. The statewide positivity rate rose from 4.9% to 5%.

According to Sunday’s VDH pandemic measures dashboard (https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/key-measures/pandemic-metrics/region-metrics/), cases in the far southwest region of Virginia — including the LENOWISCO Health District — were ranked as rising after a 27-day increase in cases. The far southwest region was ranked fluctuating in the percent positivity of COVID-19 testing results based on a six-day increase in that measure.

Two school systems in the LENOWISCO district — Lee and Scott counties — were ranked highest- risk based on the 14-day case incidence rate in the district, while Wise County and Norton were ranked higher-risk.

Three school systems — Lee and Scott counties and Norton — were ranked highest-risk for percent change in seven-day case incidences, while Wise County was reduced to lowest-risk.

Where to be tested

Do you think you may 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 at 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 users through symptoms they may be experiencing and help direct them to their local health department office or other available testing sites.