RICHMOND, Va. -- Gov. Ralph Northam said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has identified multiple "alternative care sites" that will be created to care for people with COVID-19 in Virginia.
Northam said engineers have evaluated 41 potential sites for alternative hospital beds across the Commonwealth.
"We've narrowed that down to the ExxonMobil facility in Fairfax, which is literally next door to Inova Fairfax Hospital," Northam said. "The Hampton Convention Center, which is in close proximity to Sentara and Riverside hospitals and is central to Hampton Roads."
Officials said the Richmond site location will be announced during Friday's 2p.m. news briefing.
Additionally, the governor said Virginia has received a third shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) from the national stockpile.
"That includes face shields, gowns and mask, but we need more," Northam said, "We continue to work all available options for getting more personal protective equipment for our frontline medical personnel."
When asked how much personal protective equipment the state needed, Northam said "we need as much as we can get."
"There's no such thing as too much right now," Northam said. "And what has prompted that is.. I speak on behalf of all of our governors, we're competing with each other. We're competing with other countries, we're competing with other states."
Northam said that hospital crews can use up to 240 sets of PPE per day caring for an ICU patient in isolation.
"So many individuals have to visit to care for that patient," Northam explained. "So you multiply that as, as was said earlier, the number of individuals we have in hospitals now that the number of individuals that are in ICU that are on ventilators -- you go through a lot of PPE."
Northam urged people to stay home as the number of COVID-19 cases in the Commobwealth continues to climb.
"The more people that stay home, the fewer people that will get sick," Northam said, "But make no mistake, we are preparing for the people who will get sick."
Coronavirus Surge Expected Between "Late April and Late May"
Northam also revealed when the state is expecting the surge of coronavirus cases, but added they are still working on a final model.
"While we continue to examine the available models about when Virginia's cases will surge, we currently expect that will be sometime between late April and late May," said Northam.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Norm Oliver said while there are many different models out there, the administration is working with the University of Virginia's Data Science Institute to craft one that is tailored to Virginia.
"Researchers have built a model that's being used by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency," said Oliver. "They have agreed to work with us and have been working with us over the last couple of weeks. And we will in just a few days be able, I think, to present a model that has Virginia specific data which will therefore be a much more accurate projection on what we can expect here in the Commonwealth and we'll report on that when that becomes fully operational."
Virginia's COVID-19 cases top 1,484
Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver said during a news briefing Wednesday that 145 patients in Virginia are in intensive care units (ICU) and 108 are on ventilator support.
Thirty-four people have died as a result of COVID-19-related illnesses, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
Officials said 234 more people tested positive for COVID-19 out of the 1,948 people tested since Tuesday's update. That brings Virginia's total number of cases to 1,484.
Officials are investigating "distinct clusters" where there is "local transmission" of the virus in Virginia.
Those clusters include 288 cases in Fairfax County, 119 in Arlington County, 106 in Prince William County, 105 in Loudon County, 95 in James City County, 88 in Virginia Beach, 78 in Henrico County and 59 in Chesterfield County.
VDH data showed the coronavirus has most impacted people aged 50 to 69 since that group accounts for nearly 36 percent of cases.
Slightly more men have been infected by the virus at 743 cases versus the 725 cases reported in women.
City/County-by-County Breakdown of Cases
Accomack: 7 (+1)
Alexandria: 32 (+2)
Arlington: 119 (+15)
Amherst: 5 (+2)
Augusta: 1 (new)
Bedford: 3 (+1)
Botetourt: 6 (+1)
Campbell: 2 (+1)
Charles City: 2 (+1)
Charlottesville: 16 (+2)
Chesapeake: 31 (+8)
Chesterfield: 59 (+16)
Covington: 1 (new)
Culpeper: 5 (+2)
Emporia: *2 (from local health department)
Fairfax: 288 (+44)
Fairfax City: 1
Franklin City: 1
Franklin County: 5
Frederick: 15 (+3)
Gloucester: 8 (+1)
Hampton: 14 (+1)
Harrisonburg: 10 (+4)
Henrico: 78 (+16)
Henry: 2 (+1)
Isle of Wight: 5 (+1)
James City: 95 (+6)
King George: 4
King and Queen: 1
King William: 1
Louisa: 11 (+2)
Loudoun: 105 (+ 18)
Lynchburg: 7 (+2)
Manassas City: 9 (+1)
Manassas Park: 1
New Kent: 1
Newport News: 29 (+6)
Norfolk: 33 (+6)
Orange: 4 (+2)
Petersburg: 4 (+2)
Poquoson: 3 (+1
Portsmouth: 13 (+1)
Powhatan: 3 (-1)
Prince Edward: 2
Prince George: 8 (+1)
Prince William: 106(+12)
Richmond City: 33 (+7)
Roanoke City: 6
Roanoke County: 4 (+1)
Rockingham: 9 (+4)
Shenandoah: 8 (+1)
Smyth: 2 (+1)
Spotsylvania: 8 (+1)
Stafford: 28 (+4)
Suffolk: 6 (+2)
Sussex: 1 (new)
Virginia Beach: 88 (+23)
Winchester: 5 (+2)
Williamsburg: 9 (+1)
Wythe: 2 (+1)
York: 16 (+2)
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.