Novel coronavirus

Three Orange County residents have been hospitalized with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

Note: The numbers have risen since this story was reported. For the most current data, go to the Virginia Department of Health's COVID-19 in Virginia web page.

The number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths keeps rising across the state, but no resident of Orange County has died from COVID-19. There were 27 reported cases and three local residents had been hospitalized, according to statistics updated Tuesday morning by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

Cumulative data compiled through the end of the workday Monday reveals a study in contrasts. While northern Virginia, the Richmond area and the Peninsula are struggling mightily against the highly contagious and deadly novel coronavirus, rural communities such as Orange County have been largely spared.

Across the state, the VDH reported on Tuesday that 82,753 people had been tested for the disease. There were 14,339 cases in Virginia, 2,165 hospitalizations and 492 reported deaths from COVID-19.

The Fairfax Health District, comprising Fairfax County, Fairfax city and Falls Church, currently is the hardest hit across the commonwealth. As of Tuesday, that district had reported 3,331 cases, 562 hospitalizations and 118 deaths.

In Orange County, a total of 27 cases of the virus was reported in the Tuesday morning update.

Across the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District (Orange, Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison and Rappahannock), there are a total of 275 cases, 24 hospitalizations and four deaths. Of those deaths, all the victims were in their 80s; two were residents of Culpeper and two of Fauquier.

Of the five counties in the health district, Orange fell in the middle in the number of cases. Culpeper had the most (126) and Fauquier was next (105). Below Orange were Madison (14) and Rappahannock (3).

Culpeper and Fauquier had 10 hospitalizations each, Madison had one and Rappahannock had none. However, the VDH notes on its website that the total number of hospitalizations in Virginia reflects the status at the time cases are investigated and therefore the number is under-estimated.

The VDH breaks down data by age group. In the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District (RRHD), people age 30 to 39 represented the highest percentage of cases (23.6%), with people age 40 to 49 following close behind (21.5%).

In the RRHD, in the age 0-9 category, there were eight cases, one hospitalization and no deaths. For older residents, the figures were as follows: age 10-19, 17 cases, no hospitalizations and no deaths; age 20-29, 47 cases, no hospitalizations and no deaths; age 30-39, 65 cases, five hospitalizations and no deaths; age 40-49, 59 cases, one hospitalization and no deaths; age 50-59, 40 cases, five hospitalizations and no deaths; age 60-69, 19 cases, four hospitalizations and no deaths; age 70-79, 11 cases, one hospitalization and no deaths; and age 80 and above, nine cases, seven hospitalizations and four deaths.

Tuesday’s data showed that the number of hospitalizations drops off considerably below the figure for the Fairfax Health District. Next in line came Prince William (183), Arlington (157), Henrico (120), Peninsula (98) and Rappahannock (88). The Rappahannock Health District encompasses Caroline, Fredericksburg, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford counties.

The Thomas Jefferson Health District, including Albemarle, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Greene and Louisa and Nelson had 59 reported hospitalizations.

In the category of deaths by health district, Fairfax again led (118), but the districts immediately below didn’t follow the same order as the number of hospitalizations. Coming next was Henrico (95), followed by Arlington (32), Prince William (23), Chesterfield (23) and Peninsula (21).

On Tuesday, the VDH reported 12 deaths in the Thomas Jefferson Health District and nine in the Rappahannock District.

The VDH breaks down data by race and sex, but percentages of unreported and unspecific figures for race currently are very high. For instance, the percentages of cases by race are listed as follows: white, 33.8%; other, 15.4%; black or African-American, 18.3% and not reported, 32.4%.

The information on sex is more precise. On Monday, women accounted for 51.5% of the cases, 960 hospitalizations and 226 deaths across the commonwealth. Men accounted for 47.8% of the cases, 1,197 hospitalizations and 262 deaths. Sex was not reported for 0.7% of the cases; in that unreported group, there were eight hospitalizations and four deaths.

The state also provides information on the number of outbreaks based on setting and health district. Information reported on Tuesday shows a total of 203 outbreaks in Virginia, with most of them in long-term care facilities. In that setting, there have been 114 outbreaks accounting for 1,357 cases and 107 deaths.

There have been 45 outbreaks across the state in congregate settings, a large category encompassing apartment complexes, churches, businesses and many other group arrangements. Those outbreaks account for 378 cases and eight deaths. Further down the list were the health care setting (18 outbreaks, 64 cases and no deaths), correctional facility (17 outbreaks, 298 cases and no deaths) and educational setting (seven outbreaks, 20 cases and no deaths). Under the category “other,” there were two outbreaks, six cases and no deaths reported on Tuesday.

In the RRHD as of Tuesday, there was one outbreak listed, in a health care setting.

Hilary Holladay covers education and politics for the Orange County Review. The author of five books, she is currently writing a biography of the poet Adrienne Rich.

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