Governor urges crackdown on COVID-19 business violators; VA remains in Phase Three
801 new cases reported Tuesday
RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Governor Ralph Northam says Virginia is not seeing the kind of spikes in coronavirus cases many states are seeing, though there is a significant spike in the Hampton Roads area of the east part of the commonwealth, with 10.1 percent of tests resulting in positive cases of coronavirus. He says the east part of Virginia is responsible for much of the state’s overall recent rise in positive tests, from the high five percents a week ago to the high sixes now, largely because of young people who aren’t wearing masks.
At his news conference Tuesday, the governor said he’s sending a message that health departments have authority to crack down on social distancing and face covering rules at businesses, saying business licenses could be on the line if businesses don’t take actions such as refusing to cater to customers who don’t wear masks. He says businesses should be adding masks to signs that indicate there will be no service to people who aren’t wearing shirts or shoes.
Still, Virginia remains in Phase Three of business openings and guidance to deal with public social distancing, with no immediate plans to move into another phase.
Northam says school districts across the commonwealth are still organizing plans for students to safely go back to class this fall.
The Virginia Department of Health is reporting 72,443 cases of coronavirus in the commonwealth as of Tuesday morning. That’s up from 71,642 reported Monday, an 801-case increase.
2,833 of the overall cases are considered “probable.”
There are 1,977 recorded coronavirus-related deaths in the commonwealth, up from the 1,968 reported Monday, and there have been 6,817 hospitalizations. 828,017 PCR tests have been conducted, with a 6.9% positive rate over the last week, up from the 6.8% reported Monday.
VDH has started providing the COVID-19 Key Measures for additional regions across the state: Central, Eastern, Northwest and Southwest. Previously, VDH only provided statewide and Northern Region key measures; data are now provided for all regions in the state. The new regional dashboards are available on the Key Measures webpage.
For each region, a separate dashboard will include the following information:
- Number of cases by date reported
- Number of cases by date of symptom onset
- Number of deaths by date reported
- Number of deaths by date on the death certificate
- Number of testing encounters, number of positive testing encounters and percent positivity by lab report date, PCR only
- Number of testing encounters by lab report date, PCR only
- Number of hospital beds occupied and available
- Number of patients hospitalized with a positive or pending COVID-19 test
- Number of hospitals in the region reporting difficulty acquiring personal protective equipment (PPE) in the next 72 hours
Any new confirmed cases from health departments throughout the state the rest of the day won’t show up until at least the following day on the state list, as the official numbers are only updated once a day, with a 5 p.m. cutoff each day for new cases to be reflected on the next day’s list.
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