After four straight weeks of decline, raising hopes that the pandemic is slowing down, the number of Covid-19 cases in Virginia are surging yet again. As per the data collected by the Virginia Department of Health, an upward trend was observed in most localities of the state this past week.
As of Sunday, October 18, Virginia has had 166,138 total cases of COVID-19 while the death toll stands at 3,433. Over the past week, there have been an average of 1,048 cases per day, an increase of 36 percent from the average two weeks earlier. The death rate saw a noticeable decrease of 46% in a two week period.
Fairfax County recorded the most cases in the past week with 669 new infections followed by Prince William(414) and Loudoun (326) respectively. However, data of cases per 100,000 residents shows that areas of Greensville, Lexington and Southampton suffered greater outbreaks.
The 7-day current positivity rate rose to 5.5% on Sunday 18th October, up from 5% at the same time last week.
The statewide weekly incidence rate, which is a measure of the frequency that a new illness occurs in a community over a period of time, also rose to 12 out of 100,000 residents from 9.8/10K last week.
As per the numbers given by Virginia Department of health, the rate still remains below the National average of 19.6.
According to an analysis based on the current trends by the University of Virginia Biocomplexity Institute, a peak in Coronavirus cases is to be expected before Thanksgiving. The institute is working with the health department to offer data based Covid-19 projections.
The experts have warned though that the projections may change based on the behavior of the public and the kind of precautionary measures taken. Health experts are of the opinion that not taking social-distancing seriously and unwillingness to wear masks around other people can change the disease’s impact.
Governor Ralph Northam, who himself suffered from a mild case of coronavirus recently, cautioned the public yet again. It was his first press conference after being diagnosed with Covid-19. He urged the residents to keep following the social distancing rules despite the difficulties.
“It’s going to feel hard to keep doing the right things, but I know that we can stay strong and get through this winter, continuing to make the right choices,” he said.
The colder weather and more people preferring to stay indoors will also have an impact on the disease spread.
The United States’ case tally rose to almost 8.4 million on Sunday with 224,728 deaths. Worldwide, over 40 million people have been infected and there have been 1.2 million deaths so far.
Jonathan is a local news reporter for the Virginia Herald. His coverage area is statewide with a focus on NOVA and Richmond area news.
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