Southwest Virginia COVID-19 September death rate 2.6 times higher than state’s

Local Coronavirus Coverage

Hospitalization rate was double the state average

Southwest Virginia ended September with a population-adjusted COVID-19 death rate more than two-and-a-half times that of Virginia as a whole, according to Virginia Department of Health (VDH) data.

The 78 deaths for the month was the third-highest one-month total of the pandemic, behind only December and January.

It represented 26.9 deaths per 100,000 population, compared to the state rate of 10.2 per 100,000. VDH reported 870 deaths statewide for the month.

New COVID hospitalizations for the month totaled 203, or 70.1 per 100,000 in the nine-county region that also includes the cities of Bristol and Norton and has a population of 289,462.

Southwest Virginians were hospitalized for COVID at twice the rate of Virginians overall during September.

The statewide hospitalization rate was 34.9 per 100,000 — 2,975 hospitalizations among a population of 8,535,519.

And new case rates, from which hospitalizations and deaths follow, continue to occur at a rate more than double the state average after VDH reported 221 new cases in the region Thursday.

The rate of new weekly cases per 100,000 population is 508 in the region, 834 in Smyth County and 232 statewide.

VDH reported two new deaths in the region — in Tazewell and Lee counties — a day after eight new deaths were reported. No new hospitalizations were reported in the region after 20 were reported Wednesday.

A New York Times database showed that Smyth County’s case spread rate was the nation’s 43rd-highest Wednesday. It remained around the same level after 38 new cases were reported Thursday.

The region’s seven-day case rate is 25% higher than it was (405) at the start of September. The statewide rate is 11% lower than it was Sept. 1 (261).

Statewide, VDH reported 648,996 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth on Sept. 30.

.PREVIOUS: Lee, Smyth counties have highest COVID-19 spread rates in Virginia – among top 50 in nation 

According to VDH, the total number of confirmed and probable cases is 866,776.

VDH reports there have been 10,768 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. – 2,150 cases / 156 hospitalizations / 44 deaths (5 new cases)
Buchanan County – 2,139 cases / 131 hospitalizations / 49 deaths (2 new cases)
Dickenson County – 1,440 cases / 53 hospitalizations / 22 deaths (10 new cases)
Lee County – 3,424 cases / 132 hospitalizations / 53 deaths (15 new cases, 1 new death)
Norton – 498 cases / 28 hospitalizations / 10 deaths (8 new cases)
Russell County – 3,390 cases / 146 hospitalizations / 49 deaths (20 new cases)
Scott County – 2,740 cases / 156 hospitalizations / 70 deaths (27 new cases)
Smyth County – 4,236 cases / 253 hospitalizations / 103 deaths (38 new cases)
Tazewell County – 5,305 cases / 213 hospitalizations / 89 deaths (19 new cases, 1 new death)
Washington County, Va. – 6,943 cases / 538 hospitalizations / 132 deaths (39 new cases)
Wise County – 4,669 cases / 214 hospitalizations / 118 deaths (38 new cases)

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

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