VA School Coronavirus Dashboard Launched, 2 NoVA Schools On List

VIRGINIA — With more students heading back to school for in-person learning in parts of Virginia, the state Department of Health has added a new feature to its coronavirus website that lists current and past outbreaks of the virus in schools.

The VDH dashboard feature, called “Outbreaks in School Settings,” shows a list of outbreaks at Virginia schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. No current outbreaks in schools in Northern Virginia were reported by the VDH on Saturday.

In Alexandria, though, Episcopal High School has an outbreak that is “pending closure.” Outbreaks are labeled as “pending closure” if 28 days have passed without a documented new case and the outbreak has not yet been closed in the Virginia Outbreak Surveillance System.

In Loudoun County, Dominion High School had an outbreak that is now listed as “closed.” Outbreaks are labeled as “closed” when two incubation periods of 28 days have passed without onset of new illness and the health district has closed the outbreak in its outbreak surveillance system.

The dashboard will help schools measure the extent to which the coronavirus is spreading in their localities and guide possible responses, according to the VDH.

“Fully re-opening our schools remains a priority as we work to slow the spread of COVID-19. Students have different learning styles, and for some, face-to-face interactions in a classroom are important to achievement,” Virginia State Health Commissioner Norman Oliver said Friday in a statement.

By providing additional information on where outbreaks are occurring, the VDH hopes to offer a broader picture of the impact of the coronavirus and help communities decide where to place resources to prevent and control outbreaks, Oliver said.

“Given the changing nature of the pandemic, we felt providing these data at this time poses no risk to public health investigations or to compromising patient anonymity,” he said.

Only cases associated with outbreaks are displayed and not the total number of cases among students or staff that are unrelated to the outbreak. The dashboard lists public and private schools. Only the outbreaks where transmission occurred at the school or school-sponsored events are included.

Latest COVID-19 Numbers in Virginia

The VDH reported 1,088 new cases of the coronavirus Saturday, bringing the cumulative total to 172,372. The new cases include 374 in the southwest region, 219 in the central region, 196 in the northern region, 153 in the northwest region and 146 in the eastern region.

There have been 3,578 coronavirus deaths to date, which include 39 reported in the last day. Because deaths may be reported on a different day than the one on a death certificate, VDH also tracks death certificate dates. To date, the highest seven-day average of deaths by death certificate date was 40 on May 5. Data may be incomplete for the most recent weeks, but the seven-day average has been less than half of the May 5 peak since June.

Cases of the coronavirus have been increasing steadily over the last four weeks in Lee, Scott and Wise counties and Norton City, according to the VDH. The counties, in the state’s southwest region, surpassed a cumulative 1,300 cases this week. The LENOWISCO Health District, a rural health district where the counties and town are located, also has seen 27 coronavirus outbreaks, 103 coronavirus-related hospitalizations and 23 COVID-related deaths, the VDH said Friday.

According to the VDH, 979 people with the coronavirus are hospitalized across Virginia as of Saturday. That includes 117 patients on ventilators and 220 in the intensive care units, according to the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association.

Ventilator use among all hospital patients stands at 23 percent capacity, and ICU occupancy it at 76 percent. The 2019 average for ICU occupancy in Virginia was 67 percent. No hospitals are reporting difficulty obtaining personal protective equipment or other medical supplies in the next 72 hours.

The current hospitalizations include 231 in the southwest region, 230 in the northern region, 218 in the central region, 173 in the eastern region and 127 in the northwest region.

The seven-day average of positive PCR tests climbed to 5.1 percent across Virginia. There have been 2,489,017 PCR tests completed to date, an increase of 16,956 since Friday. Positive averages by region include 7.3 percent in the southwest region, 5.2 percent in the central region, 4.4 percent in the northern and eastern regions and 4.1 percent in the northwest region.

Below are the latest coronavirus data updates for our coverage area between Friday and Saturday.

  • Alexandria: 4,200 cases, 323 hospitalizations, 74 deaths; increase of 21 cases. Three hospitalizations and one death removed

  • Arlington County: 4,508 cases, 533 hospitalizations, 154 deaths; increase of 20 cases, two hospitalizations and one death

  • Fairfax County: 23,232 cases, 2,233 hospitalizations, 606 deaths; increase of 95 cases and five hospitalizations

  • Fairfax City: 157 cases, 14 hospitalizations, eight deaths; increase of one case

  • Falls Church: 74 cases, 13 hospitalizations, seven deaths; no changes

  • Loudoun County: 7,730 cases, 475 hospitalizations, 130 deaths; increase of 26 cases and four hospitalizations

  • Manassas: 2,026 cases, 132 hospitalizations, 27 deaths; three cases removed

  • Manassas Park: 640 cases, 57 hospitalizations, eight deaths; one case removed

  • Prince William County: 13,949 cases, 985 hospitalizations, 223 deaths; increase of 37 cases and one hospitalization

  • Fredericksburg: 585 cases, 51 hospitalizations, six deaths; increase of three cases

  • Spotsylvania County: 2,399 cases, 152 hospitalizations, 5` deaths; increase of 10 cases, one hospitalization and one death

  • Stafford County: 2,316 cases, 169 hospitalizations, 20 deaths; increase of two cases

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This article originally appeared on the Fairfax City Patch

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