The number of new cases reported Saturday showed 36 new cases. Fortunately this was somewhat misleading. According to the Eastern Shore Health District, the 36 cases only contain 10 new cases. The remaining 26 reflect the number of cases reported for early May from the poultry facilities. The actual trend for the Eastern Shore Health District has been generally declining for several days. The poultry cases by and large are almost a month old and the vast majority of those victims have either recovered or were asymptomatic. There were few, if any, hospitalizations and no death reflected in the poultry plant numbers.
While the numbers added to the daily report from the poultry plants do increase the total number of cases since mid March, they do not affect the overall trend which shows, at least for now, far fewer new cases than we experienced a month ago.
The Eastern Shore Health District has to add those cases manually since the companies employed by Perdue and Tyson did not have access to the Virginia Department of Health system. The main priority at the Eastern Shore Health District remains to identify new cases and uncover individuals who have been exposed via contact with the victims. Jon Richardson of the Eastern Shore Health District told Shoredailynews.com that there were approximately 200 local cases reported by the poultry companies but those don’t reflect the Maryland residents who work at the plants. Richardson said to expect between 20 and 30 poultry cases included in the daily numbers reported to the VDH. He also said that the Eastern Shore Health District will make an effort to separate the poultry numbers from the new cases and provide those numbers to us each day.
Both companies have employed entities that screen employees prior to starting their shifts to determine if any of the workers have symptoms of the corona virus.
Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital has adequate bed capacity in case we should experience a spike in cases and plans to spread out cases to some of their other facilities if needed.
Overall the situation appears to have spiked locally in early April on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Trends are now heading in the right direction.