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COVID-19 in Virginia: LIVE updates for Saturday, October 24

Posted at 9:13 AM, Oct 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-25 09:28:17-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- In an effort to provide accurate, easy-to-read information on the on-going COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on our community, WTVR.com will update this post with the day's local coronavirus headlines and statistics.

COVID-19 IN VIRGINIA (Scroll to bottom for U.S. stats)

Positive COVID-19 Cases: 172,372 (Up 1,088 since Friday)
People Hospitalized: 12,198 (Up 58 since Friday)
COVID-19-Linked Deaths: 3,578 (Up 39 since Friday)
Total Tests: 2,681,303 (Up 18,407 since Friday)
All Health Districts Current 7-Day Positivity Rate Total: 5.8% (Up from 5.7% Friday)

Click here for complete city/county-by-county breakdown of COVID-19 cases in Virginia

NOTE: This data is provided from the Virginia Department of Health daily at 10 a.m. Officials said their cutoff for data is 5 p.m. the previous day. So your local health department may have issued an alert about a case before it is added to the statewide tally released the following day. Get the latest charts and updated numbers from VDH here. *Data from Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Tracker.

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for complete coverage of this important developing story.

COVID-19 LOCAL HEADLINES

27 new COVID-19 outbreaks reported in Virginia Saturday
Health officials are investigating 1,236 outbreaks of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, according to Virginia Department of Health (VDH) data released Saturday. More than 29,985 cases in the Commonwealth are linked to outbreaks. Read more.

Nearly 50 more COVID-19 patients discharged in Virginia; hospitalizations tick down
Nearly 50 additional COVID-19 patients have been discharged from Virginia hospitals in the last 24 hours, according to data from the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA). Read more.

Europe, US watch case totals grow, debate new restrictions
Confirmed coronavirus infections are continuing to soar in many parts of the U.S. and Europe. Read more.

US sets new peak of COVID-19 cases
There were 82,000 confirmed COVID-19 infections in the US as the virus swamps areas of the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest. The previous peak of coronavirus cases was 76,000 in a single day set in July. Read more.

Virginia preps COVID-19 vaccination program
Governor Ralph Northam announced that $22 million in federal CARES Act funding will be used for the statewide program to distribute the vaccines when they are approved for public use. Read more.

These Richmond restaurants' permits suspended over COVID-19 violations
Health department officials confirmed Friday that four restaurants have temporarily lost their permits after violating COVID-19 safety guidelines. Read more.

Richmond restaurant responds to COVID concerns
Bingo Beer Co. used social media to respond to COVID-19 concerns raised after a photo of a densely-packed line of unmasked customers outside the Richmond restaurant was shared on Reddit. Read more.

Henrico Schools vote to expand in-person learning over the next several months
The Henrico County School Board voted to expand optional in-person learning for younger elementary students on November 30. Middle and high school students will have the option to go back to in-person learning starting in February. A virtual learning option will remain in place for all students. Read more.

Diners urged to self-quarantine after COVID-19 clusters linked to Glen Allen restaurant
Diners at a Glen Allen restaurant linked to a cluster of COVID-19 infections are being urged to self-quarantine, Henrico County Health Department officials warned Thursday. Read more.

Remdesivir becomes first FDA fully-approved coronavirus treatment
The Food and Drug Administration has approved remdesivir as a treatment for the coronavirus.
The move comes less than a week after the World Health Organization published results of a large study that suggested remdesivir did not help hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Read more.

Henrico Health Department received 1,800 COVID complaints, recently closed two restaurants
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam earlier this year issued several executive orders requiring businesses to take steps to protect their employees and customers from COVID-19, but in Henrico, citizen input suggests that hundreds may not be following those orders diligently. Read more.

US could have avoided at least 130,000 COVID-19 deaths, Columbia University study says
The U.S. continues to lead the world in deaths linked to COVID-19 with more than 222,000 — and some experts believe that figure is much higher. But according to a new study, at least 130,000 of those deaths could have been avoided. Read more.

Coronavirus: CDC changes definition of ‘close contact’
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have changed its definition of a “close contact,” which impacts the agency’s recommendation on who should quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read more.

Rural Midwest hospitals struggling to handle virus surge
Counties across Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana sit among the top in the nation for new cases per capita over the last two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. In counties with just a few thousand people, the number of cases per capita can soar with even a small outbreak — and the toll hits close to home in tight-knit towns. Read more.

Henrico to distribute COVID-19 care kits at drive-through sites
Henrico County is distributing free COVID-19 care kits at drive-through sites on October 23 and 24. Read more.

WHO: Remdesivir has little effect with severe COVID-19 cases
The U.N. health agency says the world’s largest randomized trial of COVID-19 treatments found “conclusive evidence” that remdesivir, a drug used to treat U.S. President Donald Trump when he fell ill, has little or no effect on severe cases. Read more.

Chesterfield elementary school student clinically diagnosed with COVID-19
A Chesterfield County elementary school student has been clinically diagnosed with COVID-19, school officials confirmed Thursday. Read more.

US sees highest daily coronavirus count since August, with nearly 60K new cases Wednesday
At least 59,494 new coronavirus cases were reported in the United States on Wednesday, which is the highest daily count since August 14, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Read more.

Virginia is 4 months behind investigating unemployment claims
The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) is now making formal decisions about unemployment claims put on hold in June. Based on that timeline, the agency is four months behind in the adjudication process, according to VEC spokeswoman Joyce Fogg. Read more.

More than 80 COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths reported in Chesterfield community
Four people have died and over 80 have tested positive for COVID-19 at Tyler's Retreat at Ironbridge, according to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). Read more.

COVID outbreak at Richmond veterans care center
Thirty residents and nine staff members at the Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center (SBVCC) have tested positive for COVID-19, Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center spokesperson Tina Parlett-Calhoun wrote in an email. Read more.

Wedding blamed for Richmond COVID-19 spike: 'Residents from across the region all congregated at this wedding'
Richmond Health District contact tracers are working to determine who may have been exposed to COVID-19 during a wedding. Read more.

Trump official says vaccine expected starting in January
A Trump administration official leading the response to the coronavirus pandemic says the U.S. can expect delivery of a vaccine starting in January 2021, despite statements from the president that inoculations could begin this month. Read more.

Avula: Wedding outbreak contributed to uptick in COVID-19 cases
After more than a month of decreasing trends and COVID-19 cases, the City of Richmond is now headed in the opposite direction. Read more.

Virginians have been slow to use state's coronavirus app
More than half a million Virginians had downloaded a smartphone app that is designed to alert users if they’ve been exposed to the coronavirus. Read more.

Amid virus outbreak at Virginia jail, sheriff institutes mask mandate
A Virginia sheriff has instituted a face-covering policy for workers at a local jail and issued masks to inmates amid a widening COVID-19 outbreak. Read more.

Doctor says Trump 'not yet out of the woods'
President Donald Trump’s main doctor says in a health update that the medical team treating the president is “cautiously optimistic,” but also notes that the president is “not yet out of the woods.” Read more.

Concerning signs despite word Trump is doing 'very well'
A person familiar with President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 illness says some of his vital signs over the past 24 hours were “very concerning” but they've improved since he was admitted to a military hospital. Read more.

Political analyst: Trump's illness impacts healthcare, Virginia political races
What's the impact of President Donald Trump‘s hospitalization for treatment of COVID-19 on the presidential race and other races, especially here in Virginia? Read more.

35-plus COVID-19 patients discharged in Virginia; hospitalizations tick up
More than 35 additional COVID-19 patients have been discharged from Virginia hospitals in the last 24 hours, according to data from the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA). Read more.

President Trump and first lady test positive for the coronavirus
President Donald Trump tweeted early Friday morning he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus. Read more.

‘Everybody is susceptible’ doctor says after Trump’s COVID diagnosis
Richmond’s top health leader warned families that President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis reveals the virus doesn’t discriminate. Read more.

Third Virginia child sick with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome
The Piedmont Health District has reported the third confirmed case in the state of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a new health condition associated with COVID-19. Read more.

Her husband drove a Richmond bus until COVID killed him, now she wants riders to 'just be safe'
A Richmond woman spoke to the public for the first time following the death of her husband, 49-year-old John Thrower. Read more.

Donate blood to help neighbors with COVID
Every unit of blood that is donated goes through testing for COVID-19 antibodies. If the blood contains the antibodies, it can be sent to the hospital to help people with COVID. Read more.

Grocery store workers can apply for $250 in aid
Beginning today, grocery store workers can apply for a national relief fund set up through the United Way and Kendall-Jackson. Read more.

CDC extends no-sail order on cruise ships
With reported squabbling between the CDC and White House, the CDC announced late Wednesday that a no-sail order on passenger cruise ships has been extended through the month of October due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more.

31 prison inmates with coronavirus have died in Virginia
Figures from the Virginia Department of Corrections show that 31 prison inmates with COVID-19 have died since the start of the pandemic. Read more.

Deerfield Correctional Center COVID-19 outbreak: 17th virus death reported
The Virginia Department of Corrections reports the 17th coronavirus-related death at Deerfield Correctional Center, a facility that is home to many geriatric and medically impaired offenders. Read more.

Northam shares health update after positive COVID-19 test
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam shared a health update Monday morning, days after he and the First Lady tested positive for COVID-19. Read more.

Lawmakers 'shocked' after Gov. Northam, First Lady test positive for COVID-19
The Northams tested positive after they learned someone who works in the Governor's mansion tested positive for the virus. Read more.

Governor Northam, First Lady test positive for COVID-19
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Governor's Office. Read more.

Coronavirus antibodies found in 10% of the sampled population
A study conducted by Stanford researchers found nearly 10% of those tested exhibited coronavirus antibodies. Read more.

Richmond leaders cautiously optimistic about COVID numbers
“We have to be even more vigilant now, more than ever. We are not out of the woods. The numbers, the statistics look good. But, obviously these things can change, truthfully, overnight,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said. Read more.

10th inmate with COVID-19 dies at Deerfield Correctional Center
Officials in Virginia say 10 inmates have died at a prison where elderly and vulnerable inmates are being held. Read more.

Positive COVID-19 case reported at Colonial Heights High School
A positive case of COVID-19 has been reported at Colonial Heights High School, school officials confirmed Wednesday afternoon. Read more.

Northam says new refinancing plan will save Virginia colleges, universities $300M
Governor Ralph Northam announced a new higher education refinancing plan Tuesday that he says will save Virginia’s public colleges and universities more than $300 million over the next two years. “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have tremendous impacts on higher education, including the fiscal health of our colleges and universities,” said Governor Northam. Read more.

Here's where to get a free COVID-19 test in Richmond, Henrico
Three COVID-19 community testing events have been scheduled for the week of September 28 in the City of Richmond and Henrico County. Read more.

Here's how Busch Gardens will celebrate Halloween
The park reopened in August during the pandemic and plans to keep in place safety protocols as part of the state's Phase 3 reopening guidelines. Read more.

Study suggests mask-wearing can lessen COVID-19 severity
A study published this month suggests that by lessening the amount of virus you take in by putting on a mask, you may also lessen the likelihood of getting severely sick if you contract COVID-19. Read more.

US surpasses 200,000 COVID-19 deaths
The deaths — all of which have occurred since February — out-total the number of Americans lost to World War I, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War combined. Read more.

James Madison University to resume in-person instruction
James Madison University says it will resume in-person instruction. School officials say they now feel confident that they can keep students safe through the fall semester. Read more.

Virginia reports first child COVID-19 death
The teen was a resident in the Southside Health District, the health department announced Friday afternoon. Read more.

Students attend weekend house party, now some have COVID-19
A weekend house party that attracted upwards of 60 high school students prompted the Friday morning shutdown of two private school campuses in Richmond. Read more.

CDC reverses controversial advice about who should be tested for COVID-19
U.S. health officials are dropping a controversial piece of coronavirus guidance and telling all those who have been in close contact with infected people to get tested. Read more.

Virginia's Community Colleges to continue virtual learning through spring semester
Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia's Community Colleges, said in a Friday letter to students that VCC schools will continue offering virtual learning through the spring semester. Read more.

Richmond Kickers' home game postponed after positive test on visiting team
The Richmond Kickers home game, scheduled for Saturday, September 19 at City Stadium, has been postponed. Read more.

Inmates at Virginia prison 'fighting to stay alive' during mass COVID-19 outbreak
The Virginia Department of Corrections reports 537 positive cases at the facility and 8 deaths, as of Thursday evening. The facility has the most COVID-19 related deaths in any Virginia DOC facility. Read more.

Latest CDC forecast projects 218,000 COVID-19 deaths by Oct. 10
With the new forecast, that means approximately 9,600 to 20,600 more people could die in the next three weeks. Read more.

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LATEST COVID-19 U.S. AND WORLDWIDE STATS