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)
|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)
|Locality||Cases||Hospitalizations||Deaths||New cases this week||New cases last week|
|OTHER AREA JURISDICTIONS|
|County/City||Cases||Hospitalizations||Deaths||New cases this week||New cases this week|
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.
LATEST COVID-19 DATA
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)
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.