A total of 33 residents of South Boston Health and Rehab have died in a COVID-19 outbreak as of late November, the latest federal report shows.
The long-term care facility — previously known as Woodview before a change in ownership early last month — reported 13 additional fatalities the week of Nov. 28 bringing the outbreak death toll to 33.
Four additional residents tested positive during that week. In all, 158 residents have been diagnosed with the illness caused by the coronavirus. With three more employees confirmed with COVID-19 in the Nov. 28 report, 63 total staff members have tested positive.
Those figures — reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — include a handful of positive tests that pre-date the outbreak reported to state health officials on Oct. 23.
Mirroring previous weeks, the latest CDC report indicates South Boston Health and Rehab continued to experience employee shortages in areas except for clinical staff.
In an Oct. 18 report, 200 out of 216 beds were occupied. As of Nov. 28, that number had dropped to 148.
At Berry Hill Health & Rehab Center, the other facility currently experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19, an additional resident tested positive in the report for Nov. 28. There, five residents and eight employees have contracted the virus, according to CDC data.
Berry Hill has reported no shortage of staff during its outbreak first reported Nov. 4.
As of Sunday, Halifax County had 927 cases of COVID-19 and 24 deaths. The latest fatality was reported Friday, but likely occurred weeks earlier because the Virginia Department of Health must wait for a death certificate before workers enter information into an online database. The date of death is not available, only when it was reported in a daily dashboard update.
On the other hand, the CDC figures are submitted directly from the nursing homes.
Halifax’s latest death appears to be a woman in her 70s. Beyond basic demographic data, very little is known when a person dies of COVID-19. The health department doesn’t comment on individual deaths.
In one week, Halifax County added 47 new cases. Neighboring Danville and Pittsylvania County amassed a staggering 454 cases in the same seven-day period.
Across Virginia, daily caseloads have been consistently more than 3,000, and Wednesday set a record with 4,398 new cases reported.
Friday’s report from the University of Virginia’s COVID-19 Model shows cases are steady in Halifax County.
Also, the weekly report indicates there are likely more cases of COVID-19 than currently reported.
That’s because few people were tested for the virus over Thanksgiving at a time when cases were surging around the country.
The holiday also created a lag in data entry.
“However, COVID-19 did not stop spreading,” researchers wrote in the report.
The data flux is expected to continue over the upcoming holidays and will impact UVa’s model that’s heavily reliant on current data.
For example, last week, UVa projected about 47,000 weekly cases throughout Virginia by the week of Feb. 7. The latest report drops that to about 32,000.
“However, this week’s projections were likely influenced by the drop in testing and lag in data entry over Thanksgiving,” researchers wrote. “We expect case data to improve, and case counts to increase, by next week. In the interim, last week’s projection with cases peaking at over 47,000 likely provides better guidance.
The surge in cases prompted Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to implement a modified stay-at-home order that begins Monday. Under the new curfew, travel outside the home is prohibited from midnight to 5 a.m. unless for work or other essential purpose.
When asked why he imposed the overnight restrictions during a Thursday briefing, Northam said he was reminded of something his mother always told him: “Nothing good happens after midnight.”