The COVID-19 pandemic in Virginia is now officially better than it was at this time a year ago, before any vaccines were available.

Because of the spread of the Delta variant -- along with relaxed restrictions -- the state's number of new average daily cases had been running higher than on the same date in 2020 since early August. This week, it fell back below 2020 numbers, which were beginning to rise rapidly heading into the winter surge.

The pace of improvement this year has slowed, however, so it remains to be seen whether there will be another winter surge.

As of Friday, the seven-day average of new coronavirus cases was at 1,253, its lowest level since early August. That's down 12% in the past week and 53% in the past month and is now 2.7% below the average on Nov. 5, 2020. In early September, cases were over three times the level of 2020. 

In Northern Virginia, where the daily average case numbers fell below prior year on Oct. 27, they fell another 6.9% this week to an average of 230.9 per day. That's now 24.1% below the region's average daily caseload on this date in 2020.  

Meanwhile, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported that hospitalizations for treatment of COVID-19 declined another 12.8% in the past week, to 923 patients as of Friday. Hospitalizations have declined by nearly 60% since the mid-September Delta variant peak of 2,211 patients, and they are now 13.3% below the same date last year.

The state reported 218 new COVID-related deaths this week, the lowest level in seven weeks as deaths related to the Delta surge continue to decline slowly. Deaths are a trailing indicator, however, as they often take several weeks to report and verify. Virginia surpassed 14,000 total COVID-related deaths this week since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Of this week's reported deaths, a net of 17 were in Northern Virginia: nine in Prince William County, seven in the city of Fairfax, three in Falls Church, and one apiece in Alexandria, Arlington County, Manassas and Manassas Park.  The number of deaths in Fairfax County was reduced by six, as some were apparently corrected to reflect that the deceased actually lived in the the cities of Fairfax or Falls Church, rather than in the county.  

Northern Virginia data by locality (Nov. 5, 2021)

SOURCE: Virginia Department of Health 

Locality Cases Hospitalizations Deaths New cases this week New cases last week
Alexandria 14,400 621 150 123 129
Arlington 18,766 933 272 142 175
Fairfax 92,427 4,293 1,117 464 649
Fairfax City 764 59 27 111 4
Falls Church 589 24 11 44 2
Loudoun 34,455 1,203 300 279 306
Manassas 5,114 215 53 36 27
Manassas Park 1,284 73 13 18 0
Prince William 55,478 2,002 572 399 444
Totals 223,277 9,423 2,515 1,616 1,736
OTHER AREA JURISDICTIONS
County/City Cases Hospitalizations Deaths New cases this week New cases this week
Fredericksburg 3,096 117 26 25 32
Spotsylvania 15,356 434 152 214 274
Stafford 16,222 461 107 238 178
Fauquier 7,091 294 86 104 104
Culpeper 6,591 229 86 97 87

The number of outbreaks in progress across Northern Virginia also declined significantly this week, from nine to four, with no new outbreaks that had not been previously reported by the health department.  The only outbreaks reported publicly are those in certain settings, such as nursing homes, schools and daycare centers. An outbreak is defined as being "in progress" until 14 days pass with no new positive cases reported.

Northern Virginia outbreaks in progress (Nov. 5, 2021)

* - between two and four positive cases or between one and four deaths. Exact numbers suppressed for privacy reasons.

SOURCE: Virginia Department of Health. 

Locality Location Type Date Reported Cases Deaths
Arlington Wakefield High School K-12 Oct. 4 24 (0) 0
Fairfax Fairfax Rehabilitation and Nursing Center Nursing Home Oct. 20 * 0
Prince William Bennett Elementary School K-12 Oct. 13 39 (0) 0
Prince William Pennington Traditional School K-12 Oct. 12 29 (0) 0

The health department's dashboard tracking the number of breakthrough infections shows that between Jan. 17 and Oct. 30, 12,115 infections had been reported in fully vaccinated people in Northern Virginia, resulting in 48 deaths.  Statewide, 50,144 such infections had been reported, a small percentage of the nearly 490,000 overall cases reported in that time.  The health department says the data show that unvaccinated people are 5.1 times more likely to develop COVID-19 than fully vaccinated individuals and are 4.9 times more likely to die from COVID-19. 

The health department's vaccination dashboard shows that average number of doses administered per day has increased this week to about 35,000 a day, as third doses become more readily available. That's at a level not seen since May. 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 11.69 million vaccine doses had been administered to Virginians, with 75.1% of the adult population and 63.1% of the total population now fully vaccinated.  Third doses have been administered to nearly 670,000 Virginia residents.  

The Pfizer vaccine has now been authorized for use in children ages 5-11, and those shots are now available across the region. 

Average positivity rate for diagnostic COVID-19 tests both statewide and in Northern Virginia continue to fall or remain steady the decline in cases. All Northern Virginia health districts now have rates below 5%, which experts generally believe indicates the spread of the virus is under control, and the statewide rate is down to 5.6%.

The total number of diagnostic test results reported by the health department topped 10 million this week, with well over 100,000 a week still being reported.  

LATEST COVID-19 DATA

New Cases/Deaths (Seven days ending Friday, Nov. 5)

  • Northern Virginia: 1,616 new cases (down from 1,736 prior week); 17 new deaths (down from 19 prior week)  

  • Statewide: 8,771 new cases (down from 10,016 prior week); 218 new deaths (down from 239 prior week)

  • Statewide Testing: 114,811 PCR diagnostic test results (down from 135,513 prior week)     

Overall Totals

  • Northern Virginia: 223,277 cases, 2,575 deaths  

  • Statewide: 933,542 cases, 14,125 deaths

  • Statewide Testing: 10.04 million PCR diagnostic tests (14 million when including antibody and antigen tests)  

  • Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) cases: 105 (including 14 in Fairfax, 11 in Prince William, two in Loudoun and Alexandria and one in Arlington). Two new cases reported 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, Oct. 29):

  • Hospitalizations: 923 (down from 1,058 on Oct. 29)

  • Peak Hospitalizations: 3,209 reached Jan. 13

  • Patients in ICU: 237 (down from 301 on Oct. 22)

  • Patients Discharged: 72,087 (722 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

 

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

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