Virus deaths starting to increase again statewide
Virginia is now experiencing a significant increase in the number of deaths related to COVID-19 as all indicators of the spread of the virus continue to soar across the state, according to new data Friday.
Here in Rappahannock County, COVID-19-related deaths have remained steady since last summer (2), but cases have shot up in the past seven days. Since last Friday, 30 new coronavirus cases have been reported, raising the county total to 427. But local hospitalizations have stayed stable for months at 15. All numbers are since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Late last week, COVID-19 hit Rappahannock County Public Schools in a big way, causing the district to halt in-person classes:
Rappahannock County Public Schools on Monday announced that the schools switched to virtual learning for the remainder of this week while officials work to create a new system to mitigate spread of COVID-19 as the virus has created a flurry of cases within the schools since the academic year began.
Read the full story here.
The Virginia Department of Health reported 122 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.
The average number of new coronavirus cases a day, regionally:
- Eastern: 838
- Central: 605
- Southwest: 576
- Northwest: 507
Statewide, the seven-day average stands at 2,938.9 cases a day, the highest level since Feb. 16. That is more than triple the average on Aug. 27, 2020, of 956 cases a day — before any vaccine was available. Northern Virginia's new case average is 73% above its level on the same date last year.
Hospitalizations for treatment of the virus have continued to soar, rising another 27% this week to 1,608 patients being treated statewide for COVID-19, as of Friday, according to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association.
Although that is still only half the January peak of over 3,200 patients, hospitalizations had fallen as low as 195 on July 5. It is near the first peak in hospitalizations, 1,625 on May 8, 2020. The number of hospitalizations is 37% higher than it was on the same date in 2020.
The Virginia Health Department changed its COVID-19 dashboards earlier this month and is no longer providing the number of hospitalizations by health district.
The state health department revised its dashboard this week showing the number of breakthrough infections. Between Jan. 17 and Aug. 21, 3,344 infections have been reported in fully vaccinated people in Northern Virginia, resulting in eight deaths. Statewide, over 10,000 such infections have been reported, but that's 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 15,200 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.
Over 9.88 million vaccine doses have been administered to Virginians, with 67.3% of the adult population and 56.2% of the total population now fully vaccinated.
However, the state's average positivity rate for diagnostic tests has increased 10%, at which point experts believe the spread of the virus is out of control and not all cases are being captured.
LATEST COVID-19 DATA
New Cases/Deaths (Seven days ending Friday, Aug. 27)
- Rappahannock County: 30 new cases in the past week; no new deaths or hospitalizations
Northern Virginia: 2,891 new cases (up from 2,500 prior week); 12 new deaths (up from 4 prior week)
Statewide: 20,572 new cases (up from 16,253 prior week), 122 new deaths (up from 48 prior week)
Statewide Testing: 156,119 PCR diagnostic test results (up from 126,662 prior week)
Northern Virginia: 197,240 cases, 2,425 deaths
Statewide: 754,651 cases, 11,769 deaths
Statewide Testing: 8.48 million PCR diagnostic tests (11.43 million when including antibody and antigen tests)
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) cases: 81 (including 14 in Fairfax, 11 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 (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, Aug. 27)
Hospitalizations: 1,608 (up from 1,265 on Aug. 20)
Peak Hospitalizations: 3,209 reached Jan. 13
Patients in ICU: 411 (up from 344 on Aug. 20)
Patients Discharged: 61,676 (2,008 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: Rapp News is providing regular COVID-19 updates as they happen and a summary every week. For daily reports on statistics, visit the Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard.