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Fairfax Covid Cases Spike, Northam Advises Face Masks in Public

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.

The day Fairfax Health District reported its biggest daily increase in Covid-19 cases, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam urged all state residents to wear face masks when leaving their homes.

“I would advise everyone to wear a face covering when they are out,” Northam said during a Monday afternoon press conference. The advisement comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its own recommendation of wearing cloth face coverings in public settings on Friday.

Northam also recommended that face coverings get washed at least once a day.

After its lowest two-day stretch of new virus cases in more than a week, Fairfax Health District — made up of the City of Falls Church, City of Fairfax, Fairfax County and its towns — reported 62 more cases of the coronavirus to bring its total to 488, a 14.5 percent rise from Sunday. The previous highest one-day increase was on March 27 and April 3, when there were 44 new cases on each day.

Monday’s spike comes after Fairfax reported back-to-back days of lower case numbers over the weekend, with just 15 (4 percent increase) on Saturday and 39 (10 percent increase) on Sunday. The last time the Fairfax Health District has a two-day total that low was from March 26-27, when it reported 47 cases (three on March 26, 44 on March 27) across two days.

One additional death was reported over the weekend to bring Fairfax’s total to six. When contacted by the News-Press, a Fairfax County official said there was no further information available about the district’s most recent fatality.

As of today, Virginia has a total of 2,878 reported positive Covid-19 cases with 497 hospitalizations and 54 deaths. Falls Church’s eastern neighbor Arlington County has 203 reported cases.

Northam said that Virginia, like other states, has not been able to get the required amount of testing materials as needed and the Virginia Department of Health cautioned that the number of cases in the state are “almost definitely” underestimated. That’s why officials stress the importance of maintaining social distancing practices.

In the City of Falls Church, there are just three reported cases of Covid-19 — two residents at the Kensington senior living center and one employee of the City — but since Fairfax health officials are no longer releasing information on each individual case, the total is likely more.

“The City government does not know the exact number of cases,” was written in today’s City of Falls Church online newsletter.”[B]ut we assume there are many.”