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Virginia’s average new daily COVID-19 cases topped 4,000 on Christmas Day

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Source: Inside NOVA
Featured Photo Source: Unsplash, CDC
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

Fairfax City2822510
Falls Church166166
Manassas Park904628
Prince William24,2921,202249

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 DistrictPeakLowCurrentTrend
Alexandria40.1% / April 233.2% / Oct. 187.7%Down
Arlington42.8% / April 202.4% / June 265.9%Down
Fairfax38.6% / April 223.3% / Oct. 1610.2%Down
Loudoun27.9% / April 284.0% / Sept. 30 & Oct. 311.0%Down
Prince William36.7% / April 185.4% / Oct. 2016.6%Up
Rappahannock17.2% / May 83.5% / July 312.4%Down
Statewide20.6% / April 224.5% / Sept. 30, Oct. 1,2,12 & 1312.1%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.

Did you get tested before the holidays? Did you get tested after the holidays? How is routine testing impacting our prospective on COVID 19 information?

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