COVID-19

Far Southwest Virginia saw 24 cases and no deaths, according to Sunday’s state data report.

The Virginia Department of Health (www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus) said the LENOWISCO Health District tallied 24 cases for totals of 2,685 and 57 deaths during the pandemic.

Lee County had 13 cases for totals of 802 and 12 deaths. Wise County saw seven cases for 1,121 and 33 deaths.

Scott County added three cases for 692 and 12 deaths. Norton saw one case for 70 and no deaths.

The VDH reported that the state had 2,117 new cases and no deaths in the prior 24 hours for pandemic totals of 217,796 cases and 3,938 deaths.

The statewide testing rate for people with nasal swab and antigen tests in Sunday’s VDH report was 3,554,591 of 8.63 million residents, or 41.19%. For nasal swab testing only, 3,118,894 people have been tested to date, or 36.14%. In the LENOWISCO district, 22,925 of the region’s 86,471 residents have been tested via nasal swab sample for COVID-19, or 26.51%.

Testing rates by locality

• Lee County, 7,229 of 23,423, or 30.86%.

• Norton, 2,137 of 3,981, or 53.68%.

• Wise County, 8,627 of 37,383, or 23.07%.

• Scott County, 4,933 of 21,566, or 22.87%.

Red Onion State Prison remained at 20 inmate cases and one active staff/contractor case, 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 and a single active staff/contractor case.

The seven-day average rate of positive PCR test results in the LENOWISCO district in Sunday’s report rose from 18.6% to 19.7%. The statewide positivity rate rose from 6.8% to 7.1%.

According to Sunday’s VDH pandemic measures dashboard, daily case incidence in the far southwest region of Virginia — including the LENOWISCO Health District — were ranked as rising after a 62-day increase in daily cases. Saturday’s metric had the region as seeing a four-day decrease.

The far southwest region ranking for percent positivity of COVID-19 testing results remained increasing based on a 47-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. Norton City Schools were ranked highest-risk for percent change in seven-day case incidences. Wise, Lee and Scott counties 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 users through symptoms they may be experiencing and help direct them to their local health department office or other available testing sites.