Even though COVID-19 cases continue to fall across Virginia, the number of new infections actually ticked up this week in Rappahannock County, according to Virginia Department of Health data.
In the county, 18 new COVID-19 cases have been reported since last Friday, raising the county total to 538 since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. That's up from 16 new cases the previous week, but down from 21 the week before.
There was 1 new local hospitalization reported this week, raising the total to 23 since last March. There have been 4 coronavirus-related deaths of county residents, a figure that, once again, thankfully did not increase this week.
Statewide, the seven-day average of new daily cases has fallen slightly less sharply this week, down 3.2%, but is still down 17% in the past two weeks to 2,690.1. That's still more than twice the level on this date in 2020.
Meanwhile, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported that hospitalizations for treatment of COVID-19 have declined 12% in the past week, to 1,671 patients as of Friday. That's nearly 25% below the Sept. 21 Delta variant peak of 2,211 patients. However, hospitalizations were as low as 195 in early July.
Reported deaths related to the summer surge of the Delta variant fell slightly this week, but are still relatively high, and the total number of deaths from COVID-19 topped 13,000 this week.
The state reported 269 new COVID-related deaths this week, including Fauquier County's 82nd death from the virus.
The health department's dashboard tracking the number of breakthrough infections show that between Jan. 17 and Sept. 25, 9,189 infections had been reported in fully vaccinated people in Northern Virginia, resulting in 40 deaths. Statewide, 34,691 such infections had been reported, a small percentage of the nearly 460,000 overall cases reported in that time.
The health department says the data show that unvaccinated people are 6.5 times more likely to develop COVID-19 than fully vaccinated individuals and are 6.0 times more likely to die from COVID-19.
The pace of vaccinations statewide has continued to decline and is at an average of 10,356 a day, according to the state's vaccination dashboard, the lowest level since early January as vaccines were just being rolled out. Vaccinations were as high as 86,000 a day in late March.
As of Friday, over 10.66 million vaccine doses had been administered to Virginians, with 72.4% of the adult population and 60.9% of the total population now fully vaccinated.
In Rappahannock County, 60.7% of the adult population and 53% of the total population now fully vaccinated.
As case rates have fallen over the past two weeks, so have average positivity rate for diagnostic COVID-19 tests both statewide and in Northern Virginia, where every health district except Prince William has a rate below 5%, which experts generally believe indicates the spread of the virus is under control.
LATEST COVID-19 DATA
New Cases/Deaths (Seven days ending Friday, Oct. 8)
Rappahannock County: 18 new cases (up from 16 prior week); 0 new deaths (same as prior week)
Statewide: 18,831 new cases (down from 19,463 prior week), 269 new deaths (down from 295 prior week)
Statewide Testing: 170,547 PCR diagnostic test results (down from 197,905 prior week)
Rappahannock County: 538 cases, 4 deaths
Statewide: 888,159 cases, 13,075 deaths
Statewide Testing: 9.49 million PCR diagnostic tests (13.13 million when including antibody and antigen tests)
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) cases: 90 (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. 8)
Hospitalizations: 1,671 (down from 1,898 on Oct. 1)
Peak Hospitalizations: 3,209 reached Jan. 13
Patients in ICU: 443 (down from 512 on Oct. 1)
Patients Discharged: 69,354 (745 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: The Rappahannock News is providing regular COVID-19 updates every week. For daily reports, visit the Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard.