Virus cases, deaths on the rise in Virginia

Testing for the virus.
After what some hoped would be at least a "leveling off," the numbers have started to go back up in sharp spikes.

COVID-19 Coronavirus cases in Virginia saw its largest increase in more than a month Friday, with 934 new infections throughout the Commonwealth. The cases rose by 851 in Saturday’s report.

Deaths are also continuing to rise: Up 53 on Friday’s report and 57 Saturday.

While Floyd County’s cases remained at 20 cases, with one death, Roanoke saw 10 new infections, Roanoke County reported eight and Montgomery County went up 5 on two straight days.

Even Bath County, the only remaining Virginia locality with no infections, had its first case.

After a day this week with no new deaths, the Old Dominion reported 53 new deaths Friday, the highest in recent weeks.

Nationwide, the daily death toll continues to go up sharply. Texas, Arizona and South Carolina death rates have risen 100 percent in the past four weeks. Mississippi, Tennessee, California and Louisiana’s death rates have increase by 10 percent or more.

“They’re starting to tick up,” Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells The Washington Post. “Deaths are a lagging indicator, so we always expected that if they were going to go up, it would take some time.”

The Post reports:

After mid-April, the daily death toll declined as shutdown orders took effect across the country and the virus curve began to flatten. The low point came July 5, with 217 recorded coronavirus deaths, the lowest toll since March 24, when the pandemic was in its initial upswing.

Since then, amid record-breaking case numbers in several states, the death count has begun to rise, surpassing 800 deaths each of the past four days. Although still below the highs in April and May, when more than 2,000 people per day were regularly dying from the virus, experts warn that the trend could continue to get worse.

–The Washington Post

“This is just the early wave of a lot of suffering and death. The longer we wait to act aggressively, the harder it’s going to be for us to get out of the tailspin,” said Ashish K. Jha, who directs the Harvard Global Health Institute.

Criticism mounts over the federal government’s lackluster response to the virus, which has caused the European Union to ban visitors from the United States and shows the American infection rate the highest, per capita, in the world.

White House trade advisor Peter Navarro is leading the Trump administrations effort in a demand that the Food and Drug Administration renew the emergency authoritzation of controversial antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which is touted by the president but discounted by most health experts.

The FDA revoked its authorization recently and is showing no intent to reauthorize it.

“It feels like Groundhog Day. They’re repeating same thing. And that’s because there’s only so many denial tactics you can employ,” Jha told the Post. “The federal government is just AWOL.”

An ABC News-Ipsos poll released Friday shows 67 percent of Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus. That is a nine point increase of disapproval since the poll in June.

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© 2021 Blue Ridge Muse