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September 8, 2020

836 new COVID-19 cases and 2 more deaths in Va.

Tuesday morning COVID-19 update from the Virginia Department of Health.
Curbside Testing
• Where: Piedmont Urgent Care, 493 Blackwell Road, Warrenton

• When: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily

• Process: Patients can remain in their vehicles while healthcare professionals collect samples with swabs.

• Organizers: Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District and local partners, including medical practices, Fauquier Health, the free clinic, PATH Foundation and local government.

• Phone: 540-347-5200

• COVID questions: 540-316-6302 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Tuesday morning COVID-19 update from the Virginia Department of Health:

814 total cases in Fauquier County since the pandemic began — up 5 from Monday.

128,407 Virginia cases — up 836 since Monday. The total includes 122,711 confirmed and 5,696 “probable” infections.

2,686 deaths statewide — up 2 from Monday. Of the total fatalities, the health department classifies COVID-19 as the confirmed cause in 2,553 and “probable” in 133.

1,684,048 diagnostic tests statewide — up 7,602 since Monday. Over the past seven days, 7.5 percent of those tests were positive.

Statewide hospitalizations for COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic totaled 9,932 as of Tuesday, down 10 since Monday.

But, the health department notes that its hospitalization figure — based on status at the time each case gets investigated — “underrepresents” the actual total.

Since the pandemic began, 15,770 “confirmed COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized and discharged,” according to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association.

State hospitals housed 1,051 infected patients Tuesday — down 10 from Monday, according to the association.

That puts total Virginia hospitalizations during the pandemic at 16,821.

Virginia hospitalizations for COVID-19 peaked at 1,625 patients on May 8.

Healthcare providers and laboratories report statistics to the state as of 5 p.m. each day. The health department updates its report the following morning.

Forty-three infected Fauquier patients have been hospitalized and 18 have died since the pandemic started.

In the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District, which includes Fauquier:

• 1,151 cases (up 5), 87 hospitalizations and 14 deaths in Culpeper.

• 273 infections (unchanged), 19 hospitalizations and 4 deaths in Orange.

• 95 infections (unchanged), 6 hospitalizations and 2 deaths in Madison.

• 58 cases (up 1), 5 hospitalizations and 2 deaths in Rappahannock.

The district has 40 COVID-19 deaths, and 160 infected patients have been hospitalized during the pandemic.

The health department reported 30,001 diagnostic tests in the district so far, unchanged from Monday. Over the last seven days, 5.8 percent of tests conducted in the five-county district were positive.

Cases elsewhere in Virginia:

• 19,135 in Fairfax County — up 80 since Monday.

Prince William County, 11,304 — up 51.

Virginia Beach, 6,227 — up 1.

Loudoun County, 6,263 — up 40.

Chesterfield County, 5,307 — up 43.

Henrico County, 4,844 — up 38.

City of Norfolk, 4,537 — up 4.

City of Richmond, 4,176 — up 12.

City of Chesapeake, 3,962 — up 16.

Arlington County, 3,656 — up 16.

City of Alexandria, 3,527 — up 16.

City of Newport News, 3,499 — up 13.

City of Portsmouth, 2,309 — up 23.

City of Harrisonburg, 1,936 — up 143.

Spotsylvania County, 1,905 — up 13.

City of Manassas, 1,836 — down 1.

Stafford County, 1,784 — unchanged.

City of Suffolk, 1,748 — up 15.

City of Hampton, 1,651 — up 22.

City of Roanoke, 1,306 — up 1.

Rockingham County, 1,171 — up 26.

Accomack County, 1,154 — up 1.

Albemarle County, 1,093 — up 7.

City of Lynchburg, 1,092 — unchanged.

Nationwide as of Tuesday:

6,304,402 cases — up 26,455.

• 189,236 deaths — up 294.

• 2,333,551 have recovered — up 17,556.

• 83.42 million tests conducted — up about 590,000.

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Mikeeeee · September 10, 2020 at 8:21 am
DougF, your standards for studies seems to vary based on how much you agree with the study. Like the PCR stuff is way outside the context of the NYT article you referenced, and is making a huge sweeping claim. And that last prepub was poorly written (I think people are taking it to mean things the authors' didn't intend), had a typo in the abstract, not reviewed, didn't have a methods section (when I read it or I didn't see one), and had error bars several magnitudes wide. Calm it down, hope for the best but stay pessimistic.

With Sturgis the issue isn't South Dakota, it is taking people from random spots in the country mixing them together and putting them back to random spots in the country. Rural areas are protected by bottlenecks in the interpersonal networks. Events like Sturgis can bypass those bottlenecks.

That said reading this paper I'm reminded of why I hate Economics studies, they are all controlled this way. Economists never get to run experiments, they need to wait for someone to pass a law/do something and then see what happens. Then compare against what controls they can find, which usually involve some... creativity. That doesn't mean they aren't valid or have no value.
DougF · September 9, 2020 at 7:23 pm
Linda, I looked at Rt estimates for South Dakota on both (probably the most accurate model) and Rt is the reproduction number for the virus. estimated South Dakota's Rt when Sturgis started was 1.05, and 1.03 when it ended. Currently Rt is estimated at .96, matching Virginia. estimated South Dakota's Rt when Sturgis started at 1.23, and 1.18 whe it ended. Currently Rt is estimated at 1.07, less than Virginia's 1.10.

From those numbers Sturgis was a non-event. Rt fell during the event, and kept falling afterwards.
DougF · September 9, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Linda, the "study" has severe problems. No wonder it was not published in a medical journal. Among the problems are:

(1) No real control. A "synthetic" control creates an imaginary, hoped for world. Drawing conclusions from comparing reality to an imaginary world is bizarre.

(2) Selective days used for case counts to bolster narrative. Cases in the country were Sturgis resides were in a consistent and low range before and after the rally, save one date when extensive testing was performed. The study uses dates ending just after that day to claim cases are rising, and uses the "4 day least square" method to obscure the fact that all in the increase comes from one day when extensive testing was performed. Further, the study does not disclose that after the high test day the number of tests and cases returned to the range existing before that date.

(3) The study does not adjust for increased testing. Consider a county with a 5% infection rate. On day one 100 people are tested, and 5 cases found. On day 200 tests performed, 10 positives. On day three 400 tests and 20 cases. Are infections increasing geometrically, or staying steady?

(2) The study does not adjust for post-rally rPCR positives that were not related to Sturgis. Consider that rPCR can be positive for twelve weeks after an infection clears. A test performed two weeks after Sturgis could be positive when the actual infection cleared nine weeks before Sturgis.

(3) The study did not look at hospitalizations, perhaps because hospitalizations do not support the narrative. South Dakota had the same rate of hospitalization increase in the week before Sturgis as the weeks after. Apparently, Sturgis had no effect on hospitalization trends.

(4) The study did not look at deaths, perhaps because deaths do not support hte narrative. South Dakota had 46 deaths in the month prior to Sturgis, and about 30 in the subsequent month.

(5) The study did not control for other variables in the counties where case increases occurred. They assumed that all case increases were due to Sturgis.

My personal favorite is this gem: Other reports tied 300 cases to Sturgis. With about 500,000 attendees over one week, the rate is 600 per million per week. Virginia's rate in the month of August is 780. Using those numbers, it was safer to go to Sturgis than stay in Virginia!

This study is a joke.
Linda Ward · September 9, 2020 at 9:01 am
DougF - What did you say about Sturgis and very few cases of Covid-19?

"The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally led to significant spread of the novel coronavirus in the event’s home state of South Dakota and in other parts of the United States, a team of researchers said in a newly released study that is disputed by state officials.

The report from San Diego State University’s Center for Health Economics & Policy Studies used anonymized cellphone location data and virus case counts to analyze the impact of the 460,000-person event that took place last month, believed to be one of the largest events held during the pandemic. Health officials had expressed concerns about the rally, which, the researchers noted, “represents a situation where many of the ‘worst case scenarios’ for superspreading occurred simultaneously.” Those included the event being prolonged over 10 days, attracting a significant out-of-town population and involving attendees clustered together, with few wearing masks.

The consequences were “substantial,” the researchers concluded. By analyzing the parts of the country that had the highest number of Sturgis attendees and changes in coronavirus trends after its conclusion, they estimated 266,796 cases could be linked to the rally. That’s about 19 percent of the number reported nationally between Aug. 2 and Sept. 2, and significantly higher than the number state health officials have linked through contact tracing. Based on a covid-19 case statistically costing about $46,000, the researchers said, that would mean the rally carried a public health price tag of $12.2 billion."
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Sunday, September 20
25 more deaths and 856 new infections statewide, Virginia Department of Health reports
Friday, September 18
Homeschooled students, PATH Foundation’s total grants, Republican vote and irrigated acres here
Friday, September 18
Under new system, first ballots cast just after 8 o’clock Friday morning at registrar’s office
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