COVID case comparison 2020 vs. 2021 (12.3.21)

The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases in Northern Virginia fell below the numbers for the same time in 2020 in late October, but has increased significantly since.  In 2020-21, cases rose through mid-January, when they began to fall again.

The number of new COVID-19 cases has soared 74% in Northern Virginia over the past month and 47% across the state, according to new data from the Virginia Department of Health. 

The increase began before Thanksgiving weekend, slowed down over the holiday, as usually occurs, and resumed with full force this week, as over 2,400 new cases were reported statewide each of the past three days. And it comes as health officials began testing positive samples for signs that the new Omicron variant is circulating here. 

As of Friday, Northern Virginia is averaging 402.4 cases a day, up 33% from Nov. 27 and up 74.3% from its fall low point, on Nov. 5. The week-end average is now 37.7% below the average on this date in 2020, before vaccines were available. 

Statewide, the story is similar, as the seven-day case average was 1,837.1 as of Friday.  That's the highest level since Oct. 20 and an increase of 25.1% from last week and 47% from the fall low on Nov. 6. The statewide average is just 17.6% below the level on this date last year. 

Seven-day average test positivity rates (Dec. 3, 2021)

SOURCE: Virginia Department of Health

Health District Peak Low Current Trend
Alexandria 40.1% / April 23, 2020 0.8% / July 3 3.7% Up
Arlington 42.8% / April 20, 2020 0.3% / June 22 3.6% Up
Fairfax 38.6% / April 22, 2020 0.7% / July 1 & 2 4.0% Up
Loudoun 27.9% / April 28, 2020 0.5% / June 20, 21, 22, 23 5.2% Up
Prince William 36.7% / April 18, 2020 1.1% / June 20 5.8% Up
Rappahannock 19.2% / Jan. 7 1.3% / June 20 11.0% Up
Statewide 20.6% / April 22, 2020 1.3% / June 25 7.2% Up

Along with the rise in cases, hospitalizations for treatment of COVID-19 are also up 29% from early November, and the percentage of positive diagnostic test results increased this week as well. As of Friday, 1,041 patients were hospitalized for treatment of coronavirus statewide, up from 859 a week earlier. Hospitalizations are 44% below the same date last year.  

Meanwhile, diagnostic test positivity rates rose across the region this week, with both Loudoun and Prince William counties reporting average rates above the key 5% threshhold. Rates below 5% generally indicate the spread of the virus is under control. The statewide diagnostic test positivity rate soared from 5.8% to 7.2% this week. 

The state reported 118 new COVID-related deaths this week, the fewest since the week ending Aug. 20 as deaths related to the Delta surge continue to decline slowly. Deaths are a trailing indicator, however, because they often take several weeks to report and verify. 

Of this week's reported deaths, eight were in Northern Virginia: four in Prince William County and one apiece in Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County and Loudoun County.   

Northern Virginia data by locality (Dec. 3, 2021)

SOURCE: Virginia Department of Health

Locality Cases Hospitalizations Deaths New cases this week New cases last week
Alexandria 14,922 628 155 169 106
Arlington 19,673 941 276 259 193
Fairfax 95,666 4,099 1,178 1,111 916
Fairfax City 1,103 70 35 5 10
Falls Church 719 27 14 6 11
Loudoun 36,292 1,226 304 593 439
Manassas 5,310 225 54 49 51
Manassas Park 1,290 75 14 5 0
Prince William 57,508 2,057 585 620 393
Totals 232,483 9,348 2,615 2,817 2,119
County/City Cases Hospitalizations Deaths New cases this week New cases this week
Fredericksburg 3,208 118 26 37 35
Spotsylvania 16,321 456 165 292 224
Stafford 17,124 476 111 268 171
Fauquier 7,603 311 89 158 127
Culpeper 7,000 233 92 114 97

The health department reported two new outbreaks in progress this week, both in Loudoun County:

  • Potomac Falls High School, 11 positive cases, reported to health officials on Nov. 16. 
  • Inova Loudoun Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, between two and four positive cases, reported on Nov. 12.

The only new outbreak reported last week, nine cases at Arlington's Jamestown Elementary School, is now listed as pending closure, which means no new related cases have been reported in the past 14 days.    

The health department's dashboard tracking the number of breakthrough infections shows that between Jan. 17 and Nov. 13, 15,207 infections had been reported in fully vaccinated people in Northern Virginia, resulting in 61 deaths.  Statewide, 62,902 such infections had been reported, or about 12% of the 522,000 overall cases reported in that time.  The health department says the data show that unvaccinated people are 4.4 times more likely to develop COVID-19 than fully vaccinated individuals and are 4.3 times more likely to die from COVID-19. 

The health department's vaccination dashboard shows that the average number of doses administered per day fell this week to about 28,000 from over 40,000 in mid November, which would have been expected as many vaccination sites were closed over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  Vaccinations were as high as 86,000 a day in late March, but had fallen to about 12,000 a day in mid-summer.  .

As of Friday, over 12.86 million vaccine doses had been administered to Virginians, and third doses have been administered to over 1.33 million Virginia residents. Over 168,000 children ages 5 to 11 have now received at least one dose, representing about 23% of that age group.  

Overall, 74.8% of all Virginians have now received at least one dose of a vaccine, and 65.4% are considered fully vaccinated.


New Cases/Deaths (Seven days ending Friday, Dec. 3)

  • Northern Virginia: 2,817 new cases (up from 2,119 prior week); 8 new deaths (up from 7 prior week)  

  • Statewide: 12,860 new cases (up from 10,279 prior week); 118 new deaths (down from 143 prior week)

  • Statewide Testing: 120,246 PCR diagnostic test results (down from 128,185 prior week)     

Overall Totals

  • Northern Virginia: 232,483 cases, 2,615 deaths  

  • Statewide: 976,599 cases, 14,753 deaths

  • Statewide Testing: 10.54 million PCR diagnostic tests (14.82 million when including antibody and antigen tests)  

  • Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) cases: 115 (including 14 in Fairfax, 12 in Prince William, two in Loudoun and Alexandria and one in Arlington). Four new cases were reported statewide this week, including one new case in Prince William. 

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

Statewide Hospital Data (as of Friday, Dec. 3):

  • Hospitalizations: 1,041 (up from 859 on Nov. 26)

  • Peak Hospitalizations: 3,209 reached Jan. 13

  • Patients in ICU: 241 (up from 231 on Nov. 26)

  • Patients Discharged: 74,421 (596 this week)

*Provided by Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association

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

Editor's note: InsideNoVa is providing regular COVID-19 updates every week. For daily reports, visit the Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard


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(7) comments

Bozo Clown

Why aren't the hospitalizations and deaths reported by vaccination status? I'm absolutely sure they have that data, and if it fit the narrative, they'd be reporting it. 😉

John Dutko


Select Metric>Deaths

Harry Morant

Yawn. Some increase. But the fear MUST be stoked, control is the goal, but I don't think they will score this time. Governor Youngkin, is Comin', To Town!

Janet Smith

No more social crowding events like Octoberfest to entertain many thousand 20-somethings who refuse to be vaccinated.

Bozo Clown

If the vaccines work, why do the vaccinated so fixated on who's unvaccinated? The unvaccinated would only be a threat if the vaccine doesn't work. All logic has gone out the window, and this has become a religion.

John Dutko

I knew a guy who had the same views that you got. He's dead now.

Lynne June

So, just get your vaccine and booster, wear your mask in crowded areas, and wash your hands with soap and water. Pretty simple. No shutdowns.

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