Virus Outbreak Virginia

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam speaks during the COVID-19 press briefing inside the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond, Virginia, on Tuesday.

Virginia health officials have no plans to report the number of COVID-19 patients who have recovered from the disease.

Other states, including Tennessee, regularly update the number of patients who have recovered, which also provides an indication of the number of active cases. On its website Tuesday, the Tennessee Department of Health listed 20,965 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, 13,344 recovered, 343 total deaths and 1,609 hospitalized since it began.

The Virginia Department of Health website lists total confirmed cases with demographic and regional breakdowns, hospitalizations and deaths — all since the pandemic began in March. There is no indication, however, how many have recovered versus the number of active cases.

Dr. Dan Carey, Virginia secretary of health and human services, said during Gov. Ralph Northam’s news conference in Richmond on Tuesday that the state’s health districts track the outcomes of COVID-positive patients but don’t plan to report that information, in response to a reporter’s question.

“The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association [has information] on their public website that is readily accessible. That only has to do with those who have been admitted to the hospital then discharged from the hospital, not having passed away,” Carey said in response to the question. “We have the number of those who have tested positive in our cases. The vast majority of those don’t get admitted to the hospital, and they recover. For that reason, we have not thought it needed to put that number on the [state] website.”

As of Tuesday, the Virginia Department of Health website lists 39,342 cases of COVID-19 since the first case was reported in Virginia back in March. The total includes 37,440 confirmed cases and 1,902 probable cases. The state also lists 4,325 hospitalizations and 1,236 deaths, but, beyond the death figure, there is no accounting there for the more than 38,000 people diagnosed with the disease and how many might currently be COVID-positive.

The hospital association’s website on Tuesday listed 5,227 confirmed cases that have been hospitalized and discharged. The represents 13.2% of all Virginia cases.

“It [discharged recoveries] is readily available in the public domain and accurately produced in the number of discharges from the hospital by the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. From our perspective, that is sufficient to make sure that information is readily available,” Carey said.

A total of 1,403 patients are currently hospitalized and being treated for COVID-19 or are likely to have it, according to the hospital association website. That total includes 366 in intensive care units and 190 on ventilators.

However, totaling those 5,227 discharged patients plus 1,403 currently being treated and the 1,236 deaths still leaves more than 31,400 cases, or 80% of all Virginia’s cases, without a listed resolution.

Virginia reported 11,529 new cases over the past 14 days, which is the prescribed quarantine period for people with COVID-19 symptoms. That total represents 29.3% of all Virginia cases.

dmcgee@bristolnews.com | 276-645-2532 | Twitter: @DMcGeeBHC | Facebook.com/david.mcgee.127

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