Breaking down the positive COVID-19 cases across our area

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — By 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 2, when the Virginia Department of Health updates their website with a statewide tally of COVID-19 cases, they had confirmed at least 1,706 positive or presumptive positive test results across the commonwealth.

But those numbers are always behind the numbers reported by local health districts, because of multiple factors.

First, they're based on the test results that had been submitted to the department by 5 p.m. the previous day, so any positive cases announced in the late afternoon or evening cannot appear on the department's list.

In addition, representatives for local health districts have told us their first priority when a new case is confirmed in their district is to work on tracing the contacts the patient had to let anyone who may have potentially been exposed to the virus know. With that as the priority, sometimes reporting of local cases to the Virginia Department of Health falls lower on the ladder and those results may not show up on the state tally for another day or two.

Plus, the exact locations of cases can sometimes appear differently on the state map than they do for local health districts that know their localities better.

Considering all of those factors, Thursday's state website update still did not show the one case in Staunton that the Central Shenandoah Health District confirmed to WHSV on Sunday, though it had updated to show the two cases confirmed in Augusta County at the same time. It also showed the two cases that were confirmed in Waynesboro on Tuesday.

With those lapses between local case reporting and the VDH, while we report every morning on the latest statewide totals, we're also reporting local case numbers based on results directly confirmed to us by local health districts.

West Virginia's communication system between the local and state health departments is a little different, and their numbers, at this point, are considerably lower, so a similar discrepancy hasn't been seen there yet.

So, as of 6 p.m. on April 2, here is the most recent breakdown of positive cases across our area, by health district:

Central Shenandoah
• Augusta County - 7
• Harrisonburg - 21
• Rockbridge County - 2
• Rockingham County - 14
• Staunton - 1
• Waynesboro - 2

Lord Fairfax
• Clarke County - 1
• Frederick County - 16
• Page County - 2
• Shenandoah County - 10
• Warren County - 3
• Winchester - 5

West Virginia
• Pendleton County - 1
• Hardy County - 2

Just to our east, the Virginia Department of Health has reported at least 23 cases in Albemarle County, 17 in Charlottesville, 1 in Greene County, and 8 in Nelson County.

Local hospitals, local businesses

A variety of new developments came with cases reported as of Wednesday across our area. A breakdown of those reports is below:

Confirmation from Augusta Health

Augusta Health confirmed Wednesday afternoon that they had received their first two positive results from tests administered at their hospital. However, the hospital provided no specific information on the patients, including their places of residence, which determines where cases appear on the VDH breakdown.

Dr. Laura Kornegay, the director of the Central Shenandoah Health District, says their district is thoroughly investigating each of the COVID-19 cases identified at Augusta Health to identify anyone who may have been in close contact with the patients and have them take necessary steps to avoid further spread of the coronavirus.

Anyone who was exposed will be notified by the Virginia Department of Health and told what they need to do.

There had already been two cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Augusta County prior to April 1, but neither of those test results were for patients who had been tested at Augusta Health. Instead, it's likely their testing was done through a commercial lab.

As of March 26, Augusta Health began working with UVA Health to increase testing capacity for the Augusta County area through the tests developed by UVA researchers.

There's no word on whether either of the two newly confirmed cases may have been the second McKee Foods employee who tested positive or the newly identified case in a Western State Hospital staff member.

McKee Foods

On Wednesday, McKee Foods confirmed to WHSV that a second employee of their Stuarts Draft facility had tested positive for COVID-19.

The company said the new case was not directly related to the first case, however, and that they're reaching out to all employees the person with the most recent case may have come into contact with to have them take the proper CDC-recommended precautions, including self-isolation.

Company spokesperson Mike Gloekler said the new patient was a long-haul driver and completely separate from manufacturing. That driver had also not been in any facilities since March 20, according to Gloekler.

Gloekler says McKee Foods continues to "run increased cleaning and sanitation protocols" and that they're carefully monitoring employee health.

He said the company sees no indication of any need to stop operations of the facility at this point, as they carry out their "mandate to keep grocery shelves stocked."

The first case confirmed at McKee Foods, over this past weekend, was for a patient from Nelson County, so that case was listed among Nelson County's case total, which now stands at 8.

Western State Hospital

Also on Wednesday, Western State Hospital confirmed to WHSV that a part-time staff member had tested positive for COVID-19.

A spokesperson for the facility said they couldn't release any further details about the staff member, but that they hope for a full recovery as quickly as possible.

Western State staff is working with the Virginia Department of Health to identify any employees or patients that had close contact with the staff member and have them monitor their symptoms and take necessary precautions according to CDC guidelines.

They say they've been screening employees before each shift since March 14, in accordance with guidelines from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS).

No patients at the hospital have shown any major symptoms of the coronavirus, according to staff, but Western State says they are "working to prevent possible cases and planning for what to do should there be one."

The hospital is also preparing for ways to isolate any patients should there be any positive cases there.

Other local case updates

In West Virginia, where there have been 217 total positive cases, Hardy County had its first case confirmed earlier this week and now has two cases. Pendleton County has one case, and Grant County remains with none at this point.

Local health districts are no longer sending individual updates for every new case, as they expect, realistically, that numbers will keep rising until we hit the peak of cases, which current models, highlighted by Gov. Northam on Wednesday, don't project until most likely some time in May.

Our Virginia counties are primarily served by the Central Shenandoah Health District, which covers Augusta, Bath, Highland, Rockbridge and Rockingham counties, as well as the cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton and Waynesboro; and the Lord Fairfax Health District, which covers Shenandoah, Page, Frederick, Warren, and Clarke counties, as well as the city of Winchester.

The statewide situation in Virginia

On Monday, when the statewide case total was at 1,020 (it's expected that it may reach 2,000 by Friday's VDH update), Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued a 'Stay at Home' order for all Virginians by signing Executive Order 55, effectively instructing all Virginians to stay home except for essential needs.

Virginia remains under a state of emergency until June 10, and Northam's previous order that closed many non-essential businesses, Executive Order 53, remains in place.

Currently, someone who hosts a gathering of more than 10 people in violation of the governor's orders can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.

All elective surgeries have also been postponed in Virginia hospitals through a public health order signed by Northam on March 25, designed to help preserve critical equipment like ventilators and personal protective gear.

Statewide case totals as of April 2

According to the department's April 2 breakdown, 17,589 people in Virginia had been tested for the virus, with 1,706 positive results. That testing number was an increase of more than 2,000 from the previous day, as testing capacity across Virginia has improved over the past week.

At this point, 246 Virginians have been hospitalized due to the coronavirus, and 41 have died of causes related to the disease. That's an increase of nearly 40 hospitalizations since the day before and 7 deaths.

The Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 website is updating with the latest statewide numbers at 9 a.m. each day.

Their breakdown and location map, available to the public here, has a graph showing the number of illnesses in the state by the date the illnesses themselves began, as well as breakdowns by demographics.

For instance, only 13 of Virginia's confirmed cases have been in children 9 and under, and only 26 cases in children 10-19.

Here's the full breakdown of cases as of 9:15 a.m. on April 2, starting with our most local cases (which here are based on data from our local health districts and not the VDH map) and then broken down by health districts across the state:

Central Shenandoah
• Augusta County - 2
• Harrisonburg - 15
• Rockbridge County - 2
• Rockingham County - 11
• Staunton - 1
• Waynesboro - 2

Lord Fairfax
• Clarke County - 1
• Frederick County - 16
• Page County - 2
• Shenandoah County - 10
• Warren County - 3
• Winchester - 5

Thomas Jefferson
• Albemarle County - 23
• Charlottesville - 17
• Fluvanna County - 4
• Greene County - 1
• Louisa County - 12
• Nelson County - 8

Rappahannock Rapidan
• Culpeper County - 6
• Fauquier County - 8
• Madison County - 3
• Orange County - 4

Alexandria
• Alexandria City - 33

Alleghany
• Alleghany County - 2
• Botetourt County - 8
• Covington - 1
• Roanoke County - 4
• Salem - 1

Arlington
• Arlington County - 128

Central Virginia
• Amherst County - 6
• Bedford County - 3
• Campbell County - 2
• Lynchburg - 9

Cheseapeake
• Chesapeake City - 39

Chesterfield
• Chesterfield County - 73
• Powhatan County - 4

Chickahominy
• Charles City County - 4
• Goochland County - 9
• Hanover County - 8
• New Kent - 3

Crater
• Greensville - 3
• Hopewell - 5
• Petersburg - 4
• Prince George County - 8
• Surry - 1
• Sussex - 1

Cumberland Plateau
• Tazewell - 2

Eastern Shore
• Accomack County - 10
• Northampton - 1

Fairfax
• Fairfax County - 328

Hampton
• Hampton City - 16

Henrico
• Henrico County - 87

Lenowisco
• Lee County - 2

Loudoun
• Loudoun County - 121

Mount Rogers
• Bristol - 1
• Carroll County - 1
• Galax - 1
• Smyth County - 2
• Washington County - 2
• Wythe County - 2

New River
• Montgomery County - 1
• Radford City - 1

Norfolk
• Norfolk - 37

Peninsula
• James City County - 97
• Newport News - 33
• Poquoson - 3
• Williamsburg - 9
• York County - 17

Piedmont
• Amelia County - 4
• Buckingham County - 2
• Cumberland County - 1
• Nottoway - 1
• Prince Edward County - 2

Pittsylvania-Danville
• Danville - 7
• Pittsylvania County - 1

Portsmouth
• Portsmouth - 16

Prince William
• Manassas City - 2
• Manassas Park - 1
• Prince William County - 117

Rappahannock
• Fredericksburg - 2
• King Georrge County - 4
• Spotsylvania County - 9
• Stafford County - 28

Richmond
• Richmond - 52

Roanoke
• Roanoke City - 9

Southside
• Brunswick County - 1
• Halifax County - 1
• Mecklenburg County - 5

Three Rivers
• Gloucester County - 8
• King and Queen - 1
• King William County - 1
• Lancaster County - 1
• Matthews - 2
• Northumberland - 3

Virginia Beach
• Virginia Beach - 111

West Piedmont
• Franklin County - 6
• Henry County - 2

Western Tidewater
• Franklin City - 1
• Isle of Wight County - 8
• Southampton - 2
• Suffolk - 6