Westmoreland County’s cases of COVID-19 have been on a slow incline since the global pandemic began.

There have been only a handful of days since March that the number of people infected with the novel coronavirus changed by more than three or four per day in the rural locality, which has a population of 17,895 residents.

Then on Saturday, case numbers climbed from 93 to 100, and they went up again on Sunday to 104. That’s a stark contrast from earlier in the month, when cases remained in the 80s for 17 days.

The uptick is due to an outbreak at a local business, said Dr. Richard Williams, director of the Three Rivers Health District. Travel also was involved, but Williams wouldn’t say much more than that because the community is so small, people would figure out which business it was and probably who went where. The state doesn’t identify where outbreaks occur, but gives businesses the same privacy protection as individuals.

“If there is any community spread, it’s very small at this point,” Williams said. “Most of it is due to the outbreak.”

But as COVID-19 case numbers continue to surge in other areas of the country, Williams believes it’s just a matter of time before that impact is felt on the Northern Neck.

“It’s going to be very difficult for Virginia not to be affected by this, and our own area,” he said.

Twelve people from Westmoreland have been hospitalized as a result of COVID-19. Two of them have died.

Three Rivers is offering a free, drive-thru community testing event on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Washington & Lee High School in Montross. Anyone age 2 and older can be tested.

In the Fredericksburg area, the Rappahannock Area Health District also is planning its third community testing this Tuesday, June 30, at the Family Life Center at 400 Bragg Hill Drive in the city. The event also is free, planned from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and open to anyone 16 and older, with or without symptoms.

As of Monday, there were seven new cases of COVID-19 in the Rappahannock Area Health District for a cumulative total of 2,442 cases. That included 985 in both Stafford and Spotsylvania counties; 247 in Fredericksburg; 128 in Caroline County; and 97 in King George County.

Elsewhere in the region, there were 808 cases in Culpeper County; 417 in Fauquier County; 146 in Orange County; and 105 in Westmoreland.

Virginia reported 453 new cases on Monday for a cumulative total of 62,189 cases and 1,740 deaths associated with COVID-19.

Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425


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