Eight more residents of a Virginia long-term care facility who tested positive for coronavirus have died, bringing the death toll amid the outbreak to 28, the facility’s administrator said Monday.
Deaths at the Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Henrico County have continued to mount since health officials tested every resident last week due to the scope of the outbreak. That testing showed roughly two thirds of the residents had the virus.
“Our hearts go out to the families of those who have passed, and we deeply feel the loss within our community,” administrator Jeremiah Davis said in a statement Monday.
Thirty-four residents were experiencing symptoms ranging from moderate to mild, and 54 of the residents who tested positive were showing no sign of being ill, the statement said.
Across Virginia, the Virginia Department of Health reported nearly 2,900 confirmed cases and 54 deaths Monday, figures that state health commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver said at a news conference were “almost definitely an underestimate” to due a lack of widespread testing. The health department’s totals are also reported with a lag time that means they likely would not include all of the Canterbury deaths.
Gov. Ralph Northam said at the news conference that state officials have been “working every angle” to buy more personal protective equipment, or PPE, which is in short supply both in Virginia and across the nation. He announced the state had executed a $27 million contract with a Virginia-based logistics company to provide PPE, with the first shipment expected in a week.
The announcement came the same day the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association reported that 11 hospitals would be experiencing difficulty in obtaining or replenishing PPE within the next three days.
Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran described the $27 million purchase as “substantial” but said Virginia’s need still “clearly” surpasses it.
The number of COVID-19 cases among inmates and Department of Corrections workers also continued to rise. Nineteen offenders, eight employees and one contractor have tested positive, the department reported Monday.