Press Club

Coronavirus Cases Down, Hospitalizations Up as New Patients Trend Older

A month ago, new coronavirus cases were on the rise in Arlington, amid a lull in hospitalizations and deaths.

Now, cases have been on a downward slope since last weekend, but hospitalizations and fatalities continue to rise, as those getting infected are increasingly those on the older half of the demographic chart.

The Virginia Dept. of Health reported one new COVID-related death overnight, bringing the seven-day total of fatalities to six. Two new hospitalizations were also reported, bringing the seven-day total to 14; it had previously reached a nearly three-month high of 18 on Sunday.

With 18 new cases overnight, the county’s cumulative total of cases, hospitalizations and deaths now stands at 3,605, 472 and 142, respectively. A total of 113 new cases have been reported over the past seven days, compared to 156 as of a week ago.

There is usually a lag between a rise in new cases and a rise in hospitalizations, but there might be other reasons why since mid-August more people are being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19 locally.

For one, those getting sick are getting older. Whereas people under 40 represented 70% of new cases between July 19 and August 19, that same age range has accounted for 56% of new cases since.

Additionally, two new COVID-19 outbreaks were reported in long-term care facilities in Arlington last month, according to VDH.

One started on Aug. 5 at the Sunrise of Arlington facility on N. Glebe Road; that has sickened fewer than five people and resulted in no reported fatalities so far. Another that started on Aug. 19 at the Sunrise at Bluemont Park facility on Wilson Blvd has sickened 20 people and resulted in at least one death, the state health department reports.

(Numbers fewer than five are “suppressed to preserve anonymity.”)

Outbreaks at long-term care facilities were responsible for nearly 500 cases and dozens of deaths in Arlington during the peak of the spring epidemic.

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