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Surge Continues in Fairfax as Covid Cases Close in on 1,000

The surge of Covid-19 continues in Fairfax with the total number of cases closing in on 1,000 after the district saw its biggest one-day jump to date Saturday, according to data released by the Virginia Department of Health this morning.

Two days after the previous single-day high, the Fairfax Health District, which includes the City of Falls Church, City of Fairfax, Fairfax County and its towns, reported another 169 cases of the coronavirus disease, to bring its total to 947. The 21.7 percent jump was the highest in almost two weeks, since a 25.8 percent increase on March 28.

It took a month for the district to reach 500 cases since its first positive test was reported on March 7, and now that total seems likely to double in less than a week.

Covid-19 cases in Virginia passed the 5,000 mark on Saturday and now total 5,077. There have been 130 deaths reported, 20 in the Fairfax Health District.

Though there has been some talk about easing the social distancing measures and restrictions put in place, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said Friday that now is not the time. He compared the idea of easing restrictions to a cancer patient wanting to come off medicine once they start improving, saying that doing so “is absolutely the wrong thing to do right now.”

On Friday, Northam announced the creation of a task force focused on fighting outbreaks of Covid-19 in nursing homes after 40 deaths linked to the virus have now been reported at Caterbury Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Henrico County.

Dr. Laura Forlano, who will be leading the new task force, said Friday there have been 82 outbreaks in Virginia and 45 have been at long-term facilities.

This week, it was reported that a resident at The Kensington in Falls Church died from complications of the disease. According to an obituary submitted to the News-Press, Ruth Dalia Attansio died Monday, April 6 at the Falls Church senior home “from Alzheimer’s disease [that] was complicated by Covid-19.”

It is not known if Attansio was one of the two residents previously reported Covid-19 positive at the Falls Church senior care home. The Kensington has not responded to repeated requests by the News-Press for information concerning the status of its cases or condition of its residents. Additionally, the Fairfax County Health Department would not provide any information on the reported death at The Kensington.

On Friday, Forlano said the new nursing home task force will be committed to ensuring both facilities and the public will have the most up-to-date information possible.

This week, the City of Falls Church implemented additional measures aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus, shutting down all basketball and tennis courts, as well as the skate park in the City.

“There is nobody out there that wants us to get back to our normal life more than me,” said Northam Friday. “But we have to face reality.”