Inside the Numbers: Augusta County, Staunton, Waynesboro, and COVID-19

Virginia covid-19

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I keep waiting for the local COVID-19 surge that feels inevitable, but still hasn’t hit our quiet little corner of the world.

Having just reviewed the latest numbers from the Virginia Department of Health website, we’re looking at about 10 new reported cases a day in the Augusta County-Staunton-Waynesboro region dating back to Sept. 1.

This in a region with a population of just over 121,000, according to the most recent Census estimates.

This would work out to 8.3 cases per day per 100,000 population.

The seven-day moving average of new reported COVID-19 cases statewide as of this morning is 809.

The per-100K rate there: 9.5.

The notion advanced early in local media that the hospitals would be overrun thankfully has not materialized.

In fact, there have been a cumulative 47 COVID-19 hospitalizations in the region dating back to mid-March, according to the VDH data.

This works out to 38.8 hospitalizations per 100,000 population.

The state per-100K hospitalization rate: 132.6.

There have been a total of eight hospitalizations in the region since Sept. 1.

We’ve also been super fortunate locally in terms of our low incidence of COVID-19 deaths.

According to the VDH data, there have been 10 total COVID-19 deaths in the region.

That works out to a rate of 8.3 deaths per 100,000 population.

The state per-100K death rate: 38.6.

The numbers that actually stand out with respect to Augusta County, Staunton, Waynesboro and COVID-19 have to do with the local economy.

Our area is the only one among Virginia’s 10 metropolitan statistical areas to experience job growth over the past six months.

This is according to an analysis of figures from the Virginia Employment Commission.

It’s modest job growth: 1,400 jobs from March to August, 2.7 percent.

Modest though it is, the Augusta County-Staunton-Waynesboro numbers stand out when you look at the state numbers.

I’m presuming that there is correlation between the COVID-19 numbers and the economic numbers.

Nothing controversial there.

Jobs in Virginia

AreaAugust 2020March 2020Change
Virginia3,850,2004,067,400-217,200 (-5.3%)
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA74,70077,400-2,700 (-3.5%)
Charlottesville MSA116,000122,900-6,900 (-5.6%)
Harrisonburg MSA66,10068,400-2,300 (-3.4%)
Lynchburg MSA100,400105,400-5,000 (-4.7%)
Northern Virginia MSA1,437,8001,522,000-84,200 (-5.5%)
Richmond MSA648,500689,500-41,000 (-5.9%)
Roanoke MSA153,600162,200-8,600 (-5.3%)
Staunton-Waynesboro MSA52,80051,400+1,400 (+2.7%)
Va. Beach-Norfolk-Newport News MSA753,500797,100-43,600 (-5.5%)
Winchester MSA60,30066,000-5,700 (-8.6%)

Story by Chris Graham


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