COVID-19

Far Southwest Virginia saw a slowdown in COVID-19 cases from Saturday’s pandemic daily peak of 100, according to Monday’s state health data.

The Virginia Department of Health (www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus) reported that the state had 1,302 new cases and six additional deaths in the prior 24 hours for pandemic totals of 193,477 cases and 3,713 deaths.

The LENOWISCO Health District saw 13 cases for totals of 2,138 and 31 deaths during the pandemic. Wise County saw nine cases for totals of 879 and 11 deaths. Lee County had three cases for 674 and 11 deaths.

Norton saw one case for 62 and no deaths, while Scott County remained at 523 cases and nine deaths.

The statewide testing rate for people with nasal swab and antigen tests in Monday’s VDH report was 3,025,890 of 8.63 million residents, or 35.06%. For nasal swab testing only, 2,802,850 people have been tested to date, or 32.48%. In the LENOWISCO district, 20,924 of the region’s 86,471 residents have been tested via nasal swab sample for COVID-19, or 24.2%.

testing rates by locality

• Lee County, 6,569 of 23,423, or 28.05%

• Norton, 2,031 of 3,981, or 51.02%

• Wise County, 7,793 of 37,383, or 20.85%

• Scott County, 4,531 of 21,566, or 21.01%

Red Onion State Prison 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 remained at no inmate cases, and dropped from four to three active staff/contractor cases. Wise Correctional Center near Coeburn remained at 16 inmate cases and two active staff cases.

The seven-day average rate of positive PCR test results in the LENOWISCO district in Monday’s report dropped from 14.2% to 13.9%. The statewide positivity rate rose from 6% to 6.1%.

According to Monday’s VDH pandemic measures dashboard, cases in the far southwest region of Virginia — including the LENOWISCO Health District — were ranked as rising after a 49-day increase in cases. The far southwest region ranking for percent positivity of COVID-19 testing results remained increasing based on a 29-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. Wise County and Norton City schools were ranked highest-risk for percent change in seven-day case incidences. Lee and Scott county 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.