215 new COVID cases in Southwest Virginia Thursday – deaths continue climbing

Local Coronavirus Coverage

RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Southwest Virginia’s COVID-19 case rate remained more than double the state and national averages Thursday, and COVID deaths continued at roughly triple the state average.

Data from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) show the nine-county region added 215 new cases and five net deaths Thursday. Seven new deaths were reported, but Wise County had two deaths removed from its total.

Hospitalizations are continuing to be recorded at more than double the statewide rate.

Ten new hospitalizations were reported as well, including two in Washington County, which has the highest rate over the entire pandemic of Virginia’s 95 counties — 996 per 100,000 population. Neighboring Smyth County reported four new hospitalizations and now has the fourth-highest rate in the state at 870.

The new deaths reported included three in Washington County, two in Smyth County and one each in Bristol and in Tazewell County.

Smyth County now has the third-highest total deaths per 100,000 population in the state, trailing only Alleghany and Nottoway counties. Its 107 deaths equate to 351.1 per 100,000.

With the 215 new cases Thursday, Southwest Virginia’s seven-day case rate per 100,000 population inched down to 460.

Virginia’s case rate fell from 220 to 217. The region’s rate has been more than double the state’s since Sept. 15.

Since Sept. 1, the regional rate of hospitalization is 83.9 per 100,000, while the state rate is 41.0.

The disparity in death rates is even wider. Since Sept. 1, nearly three times as many deaths per 100,000 have been reported in Southwest Virginia than statewide. The total is 39.4 in Southwest Virginia and 13.5 in Virginia.

The region has lost 114 people to COVID since Sept. 1 and a total of 775 since the beginning of the pandemic. Statewide, there have been 1,151 deaths reported since Sept. 1 and 13,031 total.

Wednesday, Smyth County registered the 41st-highest case rate nationally out of more than 3,000 counties at 787. Thursday, its 31 new reported cases meant that rate barely decreased to 764.

The region is among the least vaccinated in the state, with barely two-thirds the percentage of fully vaccinated people that the state has.

Statewide, VDH reported 661,094 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth on Oct. 7.

According to VDH, the total number of confirmed and probable cases is 885,323.

VDH reports there have been 10,986 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths across the state.

Note: VDH does not report whether cases are active or recovered. County and community case totals can include active, recovered, confirmed and probable cases.

Bristol, Va. – 2,188 cases / 157 hospitalizations / 45 deaths (6 new cases, 1 new hospitalization, 1 new death)
Buchanan County – 2,218 cases / 136 hospitalizations / 54 deaths (17 new cases)
Dickenson County – 1,507 cases / 54 hospitalizations / 24 deaths (10 new cases)
Lee County – 3,525 cases / 136 hospitalizations / 56 deaths (17 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)
Norton – 521 cases / 28 hospitalizations / 12 deaths (5 new cases)
Russell County – 3,540 cases / 148 hospitalizations / 53 deaths (28 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)
Scott County – 2,853 cases / 158 hospitalizations / 72 deaths (8 new cases)
Smyth County – 4,466 cases / 265 hospitalizations / 107 deaths (31 new cases, 4 new hospitalizations, 2 new deaths)
Tazewell County – 5,437 cases / 216 hospitalizations / 94 deaths (15 new cases, 1 new hospitalization, 1 new death)
Washington County, Va. – 7,152 cases / 542 hospitalizations / 136 deaths (44 new cases, 2 new hospitalizations, 3 new deaths)
Wise County – 4,845 cases / 220 hospitalizations / 122 deaths (34 new cases, -2 new deaths)

For full coverage of the entire Commonwealth of Virginia, click HERE.

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