Virginia's seven-day average of new daily COVID-19 cases topped 4,000 for the first time on Christmas Day before falling Saturday as significantly fewer cases were reported on the holiday itself.

The Virginia Department of Health reported 4,078 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, the third straight day with more than 4,000. That brought the state's seven-day average to a new high of 4,086.4.  On Saturday, however, just 1,584 cases were reported, lowering the average to 3,800.7.

As was seen over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a surge in testing leading up to the holiday will likely be followed by a decline in test results reported over the holiday weekend itself, before numbers pick back up again next week. Even at the lower number, the state's current seven-day average of new cases is still up 9.2% in the past week and 46.9% in the past month. 

The trend was similar in Northern Virginia, which reported 1,145 new cases on Friday -- the third straight day with more than 1,000 -- before adding just 428 on Saturday. The region's seven-day average now stands at 1,035.6, slightly below its peak of 1,124.4 on Dec. 12. 

The health department reported a total of 49 new deaths related to COVID-19 on Friday and Saturday, with seven of those in Northern Virginia: five in Fairfax County, and one apiece in Alexandria and Manassas.  

Northern Virginia data by locality (Dec. 26, 2020)

SOURCE: Virginia Department of Health

Locality Cases Hospitalizations Deaths
Alexandria 6,985 424 86
Arlington 8,475 647 176
Fairfax 41,769 2,870 671
Fairfax City 282 25 10
Falls Church 166 16 6
Loudoun 13,441 629 154
Manassas 2,803 147 30
Manassas Park 904 62 8
Prince William 24,292 1,202 249
Totals 99,117 6,022 1,390
OTHER AREA JURISDICTIONS
County/City Cases Hospitalizations Deaths
Fredericksburg 978 63 8
Spotsylvania 4,464 208 67
Stafford 4,886 221 23
Fauquier 2,205 89 28
Culpeper 2,842 133 18

Hospitalizations for treatment of the virus tracked by the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association have fallen over the past few days from Wednesday's record high of 2,586 to 2,454 on Saturday.  However, the number of COVID-19 patients being treated in intensive-care units, 548, and on ventilators, 299, both set records Saturday. 

In Northern Virginia, 569 patients were hospitalized Saturday, significantly fewer than the region's peak of 808 on April 30.

In its weekly model update, the University of Virginia's Biocomplexity Institute projected the number of cases statewide will peak in early February at just over 47,000.  That is down from last week's projection, but the institute noted that the surge and decline in testing around the holidays has led to abrupt shifts in data, which make modeling more difficult. 

Although the state's seven-day average test positivity rate has topped 12% for the first time since May 26, average positivity rates are down across most of Northern Virginia, with the exception of the Prince William health district.

Seven-day average test positivity rate by health district (Dec. 26,2020)

SOURCE: Virginia Department of Health

Health District Peak Low Current Trend
Alexandria 40.1% / April 23 3.2% / Oct. 18 7.7% Down
Arlington 42.8% / April 20 2.4% / June 26 5.9% Down
Fairfax 38.6% / April 22 3.3% / Oct. 16 10.2% Down
Loudoun 27.9% / April 28 4.0% / Sept. 30 & Oct. 3 11.0% Down
Prince William 36.7% / April 18 5.4% / Oct. 20 16.6% Up
Rappahannock 17.2% / May 8 3.5% / July 3 12.4% Down
Statewide 20.6% / April 22 4.5% / Sept. 30, Oct. 1,2,12 & 13 12.1% Up

The health department's report of the number of COVID-19 vaccines available and administered shows that just over 43,000 Virginians have now received their first dose of the vaccine.

LATEST COVID-19 DATA

New Cases/Deaths

  • Northern Virginia: 428 new cases, 7 new deaths Friday and Saturday combined. 

  • Statewide: 1,584 new cases, 20 new deaths.

  • Statewide Testing: 58,799 PCR diagnostic test results reported Friday and Saturday combined.     

Overall Total

  • Northern Virginia: 99,117 cases, 1,390 deaths  

  • Statewide: 329,577 cases, 4,840 deaths

  • Statewide Testing: 4.13 million PCR diagnostic tests (4.92 million when including antibody and antigen tests)  

  • Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) cases: 13 

*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: 2,454 (down from 2,478 the previous day)

  • Peak Hospitalizations: 2,586 reached Dec. 23.

  • Patients in ICU: 548 (up from 518 the previous day and a new high)
  • Patients Discharged: 29,545 total

  • Nursing Home Patients: 1,801 (up from 1,731 on Thursday and the most since at least June 23) 

*Provided by Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association

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

See more headlines at InsideNoVa.com. Email tips to info@insidenova.com.

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