Perhaps the publication of this article will result in a response from our Governor. My email and phone inquiries remain unanswered.
Each day, I check the VA Department of Health website for coronavirus updates. There is a chart on the site that tracks the number of COVID-19 cases in VA since February. It shows a spike in the numbers as testing was made more widely available, but the numbers for new cases have been falling since March 27 to a negligible number (as of my writing).
What the website shows are: number of people tested, total cases, total hospitalizations, and total deaths.
What the website does NOT show are: number of related hospital releases, total recoveries from the virus, number of deaths that had underlying medical conditions, and number of deaths solely attributable to COVID-19.
These distinctions are critical to informing the public about the severity of the virus in our communities. But Governor Northam does not cite statistics when tightening his vise-grip around the residents of the Commonwealth. Nor does he tell us what models he follows to make his draconian decisions.
On March 30, when Gov. Northam gave his order that people must stay in their homes (except for a few exceptions), on what did he base that decision? He cited no statistics, only a list of restrictions on individual movement and businesses. And why did he select June 10 as the day the order would expire?
The following day, these were the numbers on the COVID-19 website: 13,401 people had been tested for COVID-19 in VA. Of those tested 1,250 were positive for the virus; that’s 9% testing positive. Of those cases, 165 were hospitalized; that’s 13% of cases. Total deaths stand at 27, which is 2% of total cases.
What neither the Governor nor the COVID-19 website tell us is: How many of the total patients hospitalized have been released, How many of the people diagnosed have recovered, and How many of the deaths had underlying medical conditions?
We Virginians deserve answers to those three questions. We deserve daily updates to those numbers on Virginia’s COVID-19 website. And we deserve an explanation from the Governor as to why he continues to preside over the human cost resulting from an economic demise in the Commonwealth.
Gov. Northam boasts a page on his website, “Leading Virginia Forward.” How is failing to explain to Virginians why he is putting our state on lockdown, destroying small businesses and people’s livelihoods moving us forward?