VA COVID-19 Case Chart 12.31.20.png

The number of new daily COVID-19 cases reported hit a new high on Thursday, Dec. 31, topping 5,000 for the first time. 

On the last day of 2020, Virginia topped 5,000 new daily COVID-19 cases for the first time and reported its 5,000th death related to the virus that has dominated life since mid-March. 

Nearly 350,000 people statewide have tested positive for the virus this year, with over 104,000 of those in Northern Virginia.  

The year also ends with a record number of Virginians hospitalized for treatment of the coronavirus. 

The Virginia Department of Health reported a record 5,239 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, exceeding the previous high of 4,782 set on Christmas Eve. Record high daily numbers were reported in both the Central (979) and the Eastern (1,086) health regions of the state.

The state's seven-day average of new daily cases now stands at 3,667, below the peak of 4,086.4 on Christmas Day, but with three straight days of over 4,000 new cases, that average is likely to go up in the days ahead.

The health department reported an additional 48 deaths on Thursday, bringing the state's total to 5,032.  In Northern Virginia, a net of three additional deaths were reported: four in Prince William County and one in Loudoun County, while the number of deaths was reduced by one in both Arlington County and Manassas.  Northern Virginia has recorded 1,418 deaths in total this year related to COVID-19, with 679 of those in Fairfax County, the state's most populous locality. 

Northern Virginia reported 1,167 new cases of the virus on Thursday, and the region's seven-day average stands at 941.1.  That's below the Dec. 12 peak of 1,124.4.

Northern Virginia data by locality (Dec. 31, 2020)

SOURCE: Virginia Department of Health

Locality Cases Hospitalizations Deaths
Alexandria 7,298 431 87
Arlington 8,872 656 180
Fairfax 43,977 2,942 679
Fairfax City 303 26 10
Falls Church 176 17 6
Loudoun 14,169 652 159
Manassas 2,887 147 29
Manassas Park 931 63 8
Prince William 25,519 1,222 260
Totals 104,132 6,156 1,418
County/City Cases Hospitalizations Deaths
Fredericksburg 1,039 65 9
Spotsylvania 4,797 211 67
Stafford 5,221 225 24
Fauquier 2,369 90 28
Culpeper 2,998 134 18

Meanwhile, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported Thursday that a record 2,744 patients are hospitalized statewide for treatment of COVID-19.  In Northern Virginia, 627 patients are hospitalized, the most since May 29 but well below the region's high of 808 on April 30. 

And with the increase in cases, average test positivity rates are soaring, particularly in the Prince William Health District, where it's approaching 20%.  Experts believe that test positivity rates above 10% indicate that not all cases of the virus are being identified. 

Seven-day average test positivity rate by health district (Dec. 31, 2020)

SOURCE: Virginia Department of Health

Health District Peak Low Current Trend
Alexandria 40.1% / April 23 3.2% / Oct. 18 8.7% Up
Arlington 42.8% / April 20 2.4% / June 26 7.4% Up
Fairfax 38.6% / April 22 3.3% / Oct. 16 11.7% Up
Loudoun 27.9% / April 28 4.0% / Sept. 30 & Oct. 3 13.2% Up
Prince William 36.7% / April 18 5.4% / Oct. 20 19.4% Up
Rappahannock 17.2% / May 8 3.5% / July 3 13.7% Stable
Statewide 20.6% / April 22 4.5% / Sept. 30, Oct. 1,2,12 & 13 13.2% Up

The health department's data show that as of Wednesday, at least 64,882 Virginians had received the first doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, both of which require two doses to be fully effective.  The state has received just over 388,000 doses of the vaccines, in line with what the health department said it was expecting before the end of the year.


New Cases/Deaths

  • Northern Virginia: 1,167 new cases, 3 new net deaths. 

  • Statewide: 4,048 new cases, 48 new deaths.

  • Statewide Testing: 35,048 PCR diagnostic test results.     

Overall Total

  • Northern Virginia: 104,132 cases, 1,418 deaths  

  • Statewide: 349,584 cases, 5,239 deaths

  • Statewide Testing: 4.26 million PCR diagnostic tests (5.1 million when including antibody and antigen tests)  

  • Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) cases: 13 

*Provided by Virginia Department of Health. The health department's COVID-19 data is updated each morning by 10 a.m. and includes reports by local health agencies before 5 p.m. the previous day.

Statewide Hospital and Nursing Home Data

  • Hospitalizations: 2,744 (up from 2,707 the previous day)

  • Peak Hospitalizations: 2,744 reached Dec. 31.

  • Patients in ICU: 525 (down from 553 the previous day)
  • Patients Discharged: 30,707 total

  • Nursing Home Patients: 1,788 (down from 1,820 the previous day) 

*Provided by Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association

For updated national and international COVID-19 data, visit the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard

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