RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — On Tuesday morning, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported a total of 1,075,288 coronavirus cases and 15,504 virus-related deaths, which includes 7,439 new confirmed and probable cases — the fourth largest single-day spike in cases of the entire pandemic — and 185 “new” confirmed and probable deaths around the Commonwealth. However, the vast majority of those deaths are actually from 2020.

Virginia health officials confirmed 780,647 cases and 12,959 deaths are related to the virus as of Tuesday, Dec. 28. However, 294,641 cases and 2,545 deaths are still reported as “probable.”

In addition to Tuesday’s jump in cases, the VDH has reported four other case spikes over the last week that are currently among the 10 highest of the entire pandemic:

While 185 is technically Virginia’s fourth-largest increase in virus-related deaths, the VDH shared the following statement on Tuesday morning to clarify the source of most of these deaths.

Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will add an additional 165 COVID-19 associated deaths of Virginia residents who died in another state in 2020 to the COVID-19 data dashboards. In 2020, these 165 previously unknown COVID-19 associated deaths occurred among Virginia residents in another state, and VDH is reporting this information now that it’s available. These deaths occurred throughout the year in 2020 and will be reflected in the dashboard by date of death and date reported.

These newly reported deaths do not represent a large increase in deaths for December 28, 2021. These deaths are only being reported today.

A small percentage of the time, a Virginia resident with COVID-19 dies in another state and that state issues a death certificate. VDH is notified of these deaths when these non-Virginia-issued death certificates are submitted to VDH by other states, which is often significantly delayed. The majority of out-of-state issued death certificates are reported to VDH in September and October after the year of death. Once received, this information must be reviewed to ensure the deaths were not previously reported and to determine whether they were associated with COVID-19.  As such, most COVID-19 associated deaths that occur outside of the state of Virginia, but are among Virginia residents, are added to VDH’s official surveillance statistics at the end of December the year after the death occurred as part of the quality assurance reconciliation process.

Those who are unvaccinated remain at the highest risk of severe illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19. This population remains VDH’s top priority.  Everyone 5 years or older is eligible to be vaccinated. To find free vaccines at a Community Vaccination Center or another location near you, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). Assistance is available in English, Spanish, and more than 100 other languages. At Community Vaccination Centers, appointments are strongly encouraged to ensure you get the vaccine you want and to avoid extended wait times, but walk-ins are welcome.

Statement released on Dec. 28, 2021 by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH)

Meanwhile, the department says the seven-day testing positivity rate for all types of COVID-19 tests has increased from 14.4 percent to 16 percent over the past 24 hours.

Health officials reported 7,439 new COVID-19 cases, 142 new virus-related hospitalizations, and 185 new virus-related deaths around the Commonwealth between Dec. 27, 2021 and Dec. 28, 2021. (Photo: Courtesy Virginia Department of Health)

According to VDH’s Tuesday tally, more than 162,000 cases have been reported from the following localities in southwest and central Virginia:

  • Alleghany County: 2,483 cases (+2), 86 hospitalizations, and 86 deaths
  • Amherst County: 4,795 cases (+1), 247 hospitalizations, and 62 deaths
  • Appomattox County: 2,672 cases (+4), 133 hospitalizations, and 37 deaths
  • Bath County: 560 cases (+3), 20 hospitalizations, and 15 deaths
  • Bedford County: 11,224 cases (+10)461 hospitalizations (+2), and 175 deaths (+1)
  • Bland County: 1,170 cases (+2), 53 hospitalizations, and 18 deaths
  • Botetourt County: 4,715 cases (+31), 105 hospitalizations, and 64 deaths
  • Buena Vista: 1,491 cases (+3), 36 hospitalizations, and 33 deaths
  • Campbell County: 8,170 cases (+16), 400 hospitalizations (+1)and 157 deaths (+1)
  • Carroll County: 4,667 cases (+4), 340 hospitalizations, and 112 deaths (+1)
  • Charlotte County: 1,507 cases (+5), 88 hospitalizations (+1), and 30 deaths
  • Covington: 810 cases (+1), 33 hospitalizations, and 19 deaths
  • Craig County: 736 cases (+6), 22 hospitalizations, and 11 deaths
  • Danville: 6,875 cases (+14), 396 hospitalizations (+4), and 210 deaths (+4)
  • Floyd County: 1,741 cases, 55 hospitalizations (+1), and 33 deaths
  • Franklin County: 7,205 cases (+32)299 hospitalizations (+1)and 128 deaths (+2)
  • Galax: 1,745 cases (+7), 142 hospitalizations, and 68 deaths (+2)
  • Giles County: 2,586 cases (+3)99 hospitalizations (+2), and 38 deaths
  • Grayson County: 2,579 cases (+7), 164 hospitalizations (+1), and 62 deaths (+3)
  • Halifax County: 4,458 cases (+9), 195 hospitalizations (+2), and 126 deaths (+5)
  • Henry County: 7,586 cases (+29), 486 hospitalizations (+2), and 210 deaths (+11)
  • Highland County: 224 cases, 3 hospitalizations, and 4 deaths
  • Lexington: 1,700 cases (+3)39 hospitalizations (+1), and 38 deaths (+1)
  • Lynchburg: 12,791 cases (+20), 534 hospitalizations (+2), and 215 deaths
  • Martinsville: 2,352 cases (+2), 189 hospitalizations (+1), and 100 deaths (+5)
  • Montgomery County: 12,881 cases (+19), 285 hospitalizations (+2), and 119 deaths (+2)
  • Nelson County: 1,667 cases (+6), 64 hospitalizations, and 24 deaths (+2)
  • Patrick County: 2,502 cases (+7), 139 hospitalizations, and 72 deaths (+9)
  • Pittsylvania County: 9,012 cases (+20), 412 hospitalizations (+1), and 140 deaths (+3)
  • Pulaski County: 4,749 cases (+7), 236 hospitalizations (+1), and 105 deaths
  • Radford: 3,241 cases (+4), 56 hospitalizations (+1), and 38 deaths
  • Roanoke City: 13,962 cases (+28), 333 hospitalizations, and 270 deaths (+1)
  • Roanoke County: 13,867 cases (+78)280 hospitalizations (+1), and 194 deaths
  • Rockbridge County: 2,410 cases (+4), 86 hospitalizations, and 69 deaths
  • Salem: 4,293 cases (+22), 107 hospitalizations, and 83 deaths
  • Wythe County: 5,098 cases (+10), 281 hospitalizations (+1), and 118 deaths

**items in bold indicate increases or decreases in the total number of cases, hospitalizations, and/or deaths since the previous weekday**

Health officials say they have received 40,939 total records of confirmed and probable virus-related hospitalizations around Virginia as of Tuesday, which is 142 more hospitalizations than VDH reported on Monday, Dec. 27.