New COVID-19 cases in Virginia are at their highest level in a month, while Northern Virginia's cases have ticked up this week as well, according to new data from the Virginia Department of Health.
However, the Virginia Mercury reported Friday that since late December, virtually all of Virginia’s new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths have been among residents who are unvaccinated or only partly vaccinated.
Health officials have attribute the recent rise in cases -- both in Virginia and elsewhere -- to a significant slowdown in vaccinations and the spread of the Delta variant, which is more contagious that earlier strains of the COVID-19 virus.
The state began tracking the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) in mid-June and has reported 88 cases through Friday, including 23 in the Northern region. Not all positive samples are tested for variants, so the actual number of cases is higher.
Meanwhile, the pace of vaccinations statewide has slowed to about 11,000 a day, according to the state's vaccination dashboard. That's the slowest pace since early January, just weeks after the vaccines began to be administered.
Over 9.1 million vaccine doses have been administered to Virginians, with 62.8% of the adult population and 51.7% of the total population now fully vaccinated.
Statewide, new reported cases have increased about 45% in the past two weeks and now stand at an average of 200.4 per day, the highest since June 9. They are still at the lowest levels since the early weeks of the pandemic, however, and about 60% less than the caseload in July 2020, when the average was over 500 cases a day.
Northern Virginia, which has a higher percentage of vaccinated residents generally, continues to fare better, with a seven-day average of 32 cases a day, up about 10% from two weeks earlier. The region's number fell as low as 16.9 a day on June 15 before beginning to tick up a bit. The region reported over 50 new cases both Thursday and Friday, the first time that's happened since May 26 and 27.
Hospitalizations for treatment of the virus hit a new low of 195 as of Monday, according to the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, which has been providing the data since early April 2020. They stood at 257 as of Friday. In Northern Virginia, a low of 32 patients were being treated in hospitals as of Monday, although it was back up to 52 on Friday. The region's hospitalizations peaked at 818 on April 30, 2020.
The number of deaths statewide from COVID-19 has continued to decline, with just 25 reported this week. That's the lowest number since the week ended March 26, 2020, although deaths tend to be a lagging indicator and can often take several weeks to verify and report. In Northern Virginia, only three new deaths were reported this week, all in Fairfax County, which has the most deaths in the state at 1,119.
Northern Virginia data by locality (July 9, 2021)
|OTHER AREA JURISDICTIONS|
Meanwhile, the average positivity rate of diagnostic COVID-19 tests continues to increase statewide - as would be expected with the increase in cases - and rates in Northern Virginia also gone up slightly.
Seven-day average test positivity rate by health district (July 9, 2021)
|Alexandria||40.1% / April 23, 2020||0.8% / July 3||1.4%||Up|
|Arlington||42.8% / April 20, 2020||0.3% / June 22||0.6%||Stable|
|Fairfax||38.6% / April 22, 2020||0.7% / July 1 & 2||0.8%||Stable|
|Loudoun||27.9% / April 28, 2020||0.5% / June 20, 21, 22, 23||0.8%||Stable|
|Prince William||36.7% / April 18, 2020||1.1% / June 20||1.9%||Up|
|Rappahannock||19.2% / Jan. 7||1.3% / June 20||2.4%||Stable|
|Statewide||20.6% / April 22, 2020||1.3% / June 25||2.0%||Up|
The state is still reporting the results of over 50,000 diagnostic tests per week, although that's down from over 200,000 a week during the height of the pandemic in late December and January.
LATEST COVID-19 DATA
New Cases/Deaths (Seven days ending Friday, July 9)
Northern Virginia: 224 new cases (up from 205 prior week); 3 new deaths (down from 8 prior week)
Statewide: 1,402 new cases (up from 1,272 prior week), 25 new deaths (down from 34 prior week)
Statewide Testing: 52,922 PCR diagnostic test results (down from 59,029 prior week)
Northern Virginia: 185,040 cases, 2,395 deaths
Statewide: 682,147 cases, 11,448 deaths
Statewide Testing: 7.77 million PCR diagnostic tests (10.32 million when including antibody and antigen tests)
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) cases: 76 (including 14 in Fairfax, 10 in Prince William, two in Loudoun and Alexandria and one in Arlington).
*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: 257 (up from 247 on July 2)
Peak Hospitalizations: 3,209 reached Jan. 13
Patients in ICU: 63 (up from 61 on July 2)
Patients Discharged: 57,355 (121 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 Friday. For daily reports, visit the Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard.