The number of new COVID-19 cases in Northern Virginia has fallen to its lowest level since before Thanksgiving, according to new reports Thursday.
Both the region and the state as a whole continue to see a decline in coronavirus case trends that began in mid-January, as hospitalizations, deaths and test positivity rates all have been falling from their post-holiday peaks.
The Virginia Department of Health reported 480 new cases of COVID-19 in Northern Virginia on Thursday, following 428 on Wednesday. The region's seven-day average of new cases, which peaked Jan. 18 at 1,628.4, is now down to 534.3, its lowest level since Nov. 19.
Statewide, 2,304 new cases of coronavirus were reported Thursday, following 2,284 on Wednesday.The state's seven-day average, which peaked Jan. 18 at 6,128.4, is down to 2,411.1, its lowest level since Dec. 3.
Hospitalizations for treatment of the virus have remained within a narrow range this week, according to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. They fell to 1,823 statewide on Wednesday, their lowest level since Dec. 1, before increasing slightly Thursday to 1,828. That's still 43% below their Jan. 13 peak. In Northern Virginia, 314 patients were hospitalized as of Thursday, up from 288 Monday but still in a range not seen since before Thanksgiving.
In addition, the number of patients with COVID-19 in the state's nursing homes is down to 504, that measure's lowest level since Oct. 9, after peaking at 2,275 on Jan. 14. Nursing homes followed front-line health care centers as the first locations for vaccinations, most of which have now been completed.
Deaths related to COVID-19 have also trended downward in the past few weeks. The health department has reported 53 new deaths related to COVID-19 over the past two days, with just six of those in Northern Virginia: four in Fairfax County and one apiece in Arlington and Prince William counties.
Northern Virginia data by locality (Feb. 18, 2021)
|OTHER AREA JURISDICTIONS|
Average diagnostic test positivity rates are also continuing to fall, and Arlington County's rate is now below the key 5% level, at which experts believe the virus is under control. In Northern Virginia, only the Prince William Health District has a rate higher than 10%.
Seven-day average test positivity rate by health district (Feb. 18, 2021)
|Alexandria||40.1% / April 23||3.2% / Oct. 18||6.4%||Stable|
|Arlington||42.8% / April 20||2.4% / June 26||4.6%||Down|
|Fairfax||38.6% / April 22||3.3% / Oct. 16||7.1%||Down|
|Loudoun||27.9% / April 28||4.0% / Sept. 30 & Oct. 3||8.6%||Down|
|Prince William||36.7% / April 18||5.4% / Oct. 20||10.8%||Down|
|Rappahannock||19.2% / Jan. 7||3.5% / July 3||11.6%||Down|
|Statewide||20.6% / April 22||4.5% / Sept. 30, Oct. 1,2,12 & 13||8.6%||Down|
The health department's vaccine dashboard shows that 1.47 million doses of vaccines have been administered to Virginia residents out of about 1.77 million the state has received. About 393,000 Virginians have received the requisite two doses for the vaccine to be fully effective.
Vaccinations are averaging 35,167 a day, ahead of Gov. Ralph Northam's short-term goal of 25,000 a day, but well behind his longer-term goal of 50,000 a day.
Citing the the lower numbers, Northam on Wednesday eased some restrictions - including allowing up to 250 spectators at recreational sports events and authorizing summer camps to offer overnight stays.
The state did report its 18th case Thursday of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C, a condition that has been linked to the COVID-19 virus. The new case was in the Eastern Shore Health District. None of the state's cases has resulted in a death.
LATEST COVID-19 DATA
Northern Virginia: 480 new cases, 1 new death.
Statewide: 2,304 new cases,15 new deaths.
Statewide Testing: 26,622 PCR diagnostic test results.
Northern Virginia: 153,962 cases, 1,732 deaths
Statewide: 557,896 cases, 7,090 deaths
Statewide Testing: 5.68 million PCR diagnostic tests (7.17 million when including antibody and antigen tests)
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) cases: 18 (including four in Fairfax, four in Prince William, and one apiece in Loudoun and Alexandria).
*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: 1,828 (up from 1,823 the previous day)
Peak Hospitalizations: 3,209 reached Jan. 13
Patients in ICU: 364 (down from 386 the previous day)
Patients Discharged: 45,305 total
- Nursing Home Patients: 504 (down from 567 the previous day and fewest since Oct. 9)
*Provided by Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association
For updated national and international COVID-19 data, visit the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard.