Governor Northam's COVID-19 Briefing - 8/5/2020
- Virginia is launching the new COVID-Wise app that will send alerts to those who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- The app is free, and voluntary, to download and use.
- Yesterday, Governor Northam announced that Virginia is one of 7 states joining together to expand the use of rapid antigen testing.
FORWARD VIRGINIA PLAN: Phase Three – Began Wednesday, July 1
- The Federal government will continue to fund the majority of the National Guard's presence in Virginia in response to both COVID-19 and tropical storms such as Isaias.
- Increased restrictions remain in place in the Hampton Roads area.
HOSPITALS, PPE AND TESTING
- Case counts have begun to slowly rise throughout most of Virginia, with a sharp rise in the Eastern Region
- We are seeing around 1,000 new cases per day, which is similar to the number of new cases per day at the peak.
- Virginia is averaging, statewide, between 15,000 and 20,000 tests per day.
- Statewide percent positivity is 7.2%.
- Virginia will be the first state to utilize the new app, COVID-Wise to assist with contact tracing.
- The app can be downloaded on all smartphones, and will send notifications to those who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Governor Northam stressed the fact that COVID-Wise does not track location, or store any other personal data.
- It uses Bluetooth technology, attaching keys to positive cases, using those to determine whether or not the user has been in proximity to someone who has tested positive.
- Those who do test positive for COVID-19 will need to enter this information into the app, in order for those who have been near them to be notified.
- The use of rapid antigen testing will increase testing capacity while providing faster results and preventing the spread of the virus over the multiple days that it currently takes to process each test.
- These tests would have a turnaround time of 15 – 20 minutes, rather than days.
- Maryland, Michigan, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, and North Carolina will join Virginia in partnering with the manufacturers of antigen testing to purchase 500,000 tests per state.
- Together the the VDH, many faith leaders in Norfolk have come together to help spread accurate information and encourage trust in the testing system.
- Cases in the Eastern Region have been rising over the past several weeks, but the most recent 7-day average has shown case counts beginning to stabilize.
- The percent positivity rate in the region has been increasing throughout the month of July, but has started to decrease in the past week.
COVID-19 CASES, STATISTICS AND MODELING
- Total cases: 95,049
- Total deaths: 2,274
- The VA Center for Health Innovation has launched a task force to look into payment practices for family physicians, and how those may need to be updated.
- Case counts in state correctional facilities have spiked in the past two weeks from 16 active cases to over 500.
- Increased testing and quarantine measures are being taken in all correctional facilities.