The Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH’s) Daily Dashboard showed an increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases, from 52 cases on July 15, to 57 cases on July 18.
By Wednesday, July 22, the number had increased by 10 cases, for a total of 67 positive cases, according to the VDH data.
Nancy Bell, public information officer for the West Piedmont Health District, said the spike may be partly due to mass testing in a long-term care facility.
She declined to identify the facility.
However, Anthony Brunicardi, administrator of the Blue Ridge Therapy Connection, said Tuesday that the National Guard had been assisting with tests of residents and staff in the facility.
A recording on his phone stated that a resident tested positive for the illness on July 17, but the recording noted that the resident was not in the facility at the time of the test and had not returned to the facility.
One resident “had been sent to the hospital and the facility had otherwise been COVID free,” Brunicardi said.
He noted the testing was scheduled before “our first hospital transfer, thanks to our Governor and with the assistance of the National Guard. All prior testing had revealed only negative results” in the facility, Brunicardi said.
“That said, our responsibility, like the responsibility of those in our greater community, is to aggressively test as COVID-19 often shows no signs or symptoms of illness,” he said, and added that the tests conducted the first part of the week “will help us identify if there are any asymptomatic COVID-19 positive residents or staff members.”
Brunicardi could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.
Steve Allen, coordinator of Patrick County Emergency Management, said he was aware of the 10 cases being reported, but he did not know whether those cases are all at the nursing facility.
“I would say they are not all at the nursing facility,” Allen said, adding that he believes the increase is spread “throughout the county.”
In Patrick County, the cumulative total number of deaths and hospitalizations as of Wednesday afternoon were two dead and 14 hospitalized, Bell said.
There also is an uptick in the number of positive coronavirus cases in Martinsville and Henry County, according to VDH’s data.
However, those cases “are more travel and/or gathering related, with multiple members of families” affected, Bell said.