Northern Virginia recorded its 200,000th COVID-19 case on Friday, although the region continues to fare better than the rest of the state during the latest surge, which may be starting to level off, according to new data.

Data also indicate that more than 10 million vaccine doses have now been administered to Virginians, surpassing a key milestone in a state with 8.6 million residents. 

With 2.3 million residents, Northern Virginia is the largest of the state's five health regions but currently has the lowest seven-day average of new cases, 419.6 per day, according to data from the Virginia Department of Health.

That remains the highest level since mid-April, but the average increased just slightly from 413 a week ago and is below all four other regions of Virginia:

  • Eastern: 834
  • Southwest: 755
  • Northwest: 716
  • Central: 635

In Fairfax and Arlington counties and the city of Alexandria, the number of new cases reported over the week ending Friday actually declined slightly from the prior week. 

Statewide, the largest growth this week was seen in the Southwest and Northwest regions, as Virginia posted over 4,000 cases a day both Thursday and Friday for the first time since Feb. 6. The state's seven-day average is 3,359.3 cases a day, the highest level since Feb. 11.  It is more than triple the average on Sept. 3, 2020, of 1,012.7 cases a day - before any vaccine was available. Northern Virginia's new case average is 71.5% above its level on the same date last year.  

Hospitalizations for treatment of the virus have continued to increase, rising another 17.7% this week to 1,892 patients being treated statewide for COVID-19, as of Friday, according to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. Although that is still well below the January peak of over 3,200 patients, hospitalizations had fallen as low as 195 on July 5. In addition, it has surpassed the first peak in hospitalizations, 1,625 on May 8, 2020. The number of hospitalizations is 67% higher than it was on the same date in 2020. 

The Virginia Health Department changed its COVID-19 dashboards last month and is no longer providing the number of hospitalizations by health district.    

Deaths have continued to rise as well, following the summer surge. The health department reported 130 new COVID-related deaths this week, the most since the week ending April 9.  The number of deaths per week was as few as 23 in late July, just as the Delta variant began spreading rapidly.  Throughout the pandemic, deaths have been a trailing indicator, often starting to rise three to four weeks after an increase in cases. 

In Northern Virginia, only nine new deaths were reported this week: six in Fairfax County and three in Prince William County.

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

SOURCE: Virginia Department of Health

Locality Cases Hospitalizations Deaths New cases this week New cases last week
Alexandria 12,918 594 142 167 193
Arlington 16,736 885 260 243 257
Fairfax 83,526 4,185 1,139 1,202 1,209
Fairfax City 604 50 19 11 8
Falls Church 476 21 8 17 13
Loudoun 30,641 1,141 285 516 481
Manassas 4,550 198 49 48 44
Manassas Park 1,248 70 11 1 7
Prince William 49,476 1,818 521 732 677
Totals 200,175 8,962 2,434 2,937 2,889
County/City Cases Hospitalizations Deaths
Fredericksburg 2,515 108 25 107 87
Spotsylvania 11,986 367 128 458 342
Stafford 13,502 416 89 515 390
Fauquier 5,731 238 72 249 208
Culpeper 5,352 190 70 213 114

Updated data on selected outbreaks across the state shows just one new outbreak close to Northern Virginia: at the Merit School of Parkridge in Stafford County, which reported nine positive cases to the health department on Aug. 17. A previous outbreak at Fauquier County Public Schools is now pending closure, which means no new cases have been reported in 14 days. 

Updates to the health department's dashboard showing the number of breakthrough infections were not available Friday morning.  Between Jan. 17 and Aug. 21, 3,344 infections had been reported in fully vaccinated people in Northern Virginia, resulting in eight deaths.  Statewide, over 10,000 such infections had been reported, a small percentage of the nearly 350,000 overall cases reported in that time. 

The health department says the data show that unvaccinated people are 13.3 times more likely to develop COVID-19 than fully vaccinated individuals and are 18.4 times more likely to die from COVID-19. 

The pace of vaccinations statewide continue to rise slightly and is now at 16,400 a day, according to the state's vaccination dashboard.    It was as low as 11,000 a day in early July but had been as high as 86,000 a day in late March. 

As of Thursday, over 9.99 million vaccine doses have been administered to Virginians, with 68% of the adult population and 56.9% of the total population now fully vaccinated.  Based on trends, it appears that when the dashboard is updated Friday it will show over 10 million vaccines administered to Virginians. 

The state's average positivity rate for diagnostic tests remains above 10%, at which point experts believe the spread of the virus is out of control and not all cases are being captured.  Northern Virginia positivity rates remain significantly below the state level, however, and in fact the rate fell in almost all of the region's health districts over the past week.  

Seven-day average test positivity rate by health district (Sept. 3, 2021)

SOURCE: Virginia Department of Health

Health District Peak Low Current Trend
Alexandria 40.1% / April 23, 2020 0.8% / July 3 3.5% Down
Arlington 42.8% / April 20, 2020 0.3% / June 22 3.6% Down
Fairfax 38.6% / April 22, 2020 0.7% / July 1 & 2 5.3% Down
Loudoun 27.9% / April 28, 2020 0.5% / June 20, 21, 22, 23 5.9% Down
Prince William 36.7% / April 18, 2020 1.1% / June 20 7.5% Stable
Rappahannock 19.2% / Jan. 7 1.3% / June 20 12.3% Up
Statewide 20.6% / April 22, 2020 1.3% / June 25 10.2% Up


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

  • Northern Virginia: 2,937 new cases (up from 2,891 prior week); 9 new deaths (down from 12 prior week)  

  • Statewide: 23,515 new cases (up from 20,572 prior week), 130 new deaths (up from 122 prior week)

  • Statewide Testing: 163,016 PCR diagnostic test results (up from 156,119 prior week)     

Overall Totals

  • Northern Virginia: 200,175 cases, 2,434 deaths  

  • Statewide: 778,167 cases, 11,899 deaths

  • Statewide Testing: 8.64 million PCR diagnostic tests (11.73 million when including antibody and antigen tests)  

  • Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) cases: 83 (including 14 in Fairfax, 11 in Prince William, two in Loudoun and Alexandria and one in Arlington). Two new cases statewide this week.

*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, Sept. 3)

  • Hospitalizations: 1,892 (up from 1,608 on Aug. 27)

  • Peak Hospitalizations: 3,209 reached Jan. 13

  • Patients in ICU: 466 (up from 411 on Aug. 27) 

  • Patients Discharged: 62,952 (1,276 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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(1) comment

John Dutko

Nope, it's only just begun.

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