PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Just as life feels like it’s starting to get back to normal, COVID-19 cases are climbing in Virginia.
The number of positive cases is twice as high as it was at the beginning of April and up 27% in the past week, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
“Overall, we are still in a much better place than we were in January with the omicron surge, but this is a sign that we need to continue to be vigilant,” said Dr. Lisa Thanjan with the Virginia Department of Health.
Most of the state, including all of Hampton Roads, sits in green on the CDC map, indicating low community spread.
Southampton County is in yellow, which indicates medium community COVID-19 spread.
Hospitalizations are also low. The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported 166 Covid patients statewide Monday.
“We have a high proportion of people that are vaccinated and we also have a high number of people who have recently contracted the illness So we don’t expect a large surge with the current variants,” said Thanjan.
Omicron is what’s going around. Its sub-variant, BA.2. 12.1, is responsible for the current COVID-19 surge in New York, Thanjan said.
So, we’ll need to keep watching the numbers.
This sub-variant is much more contagious than the original virus, but symptoms appear to be much milder — like a cold.
“But people still should not look at this as a mild virus. People can still get really sick. This is especially true for unvaccinated individuals,” the doctor said.
Her advice, if you have sniffles or a sore throat, get tested. If you’re COVID-19 positive, quarantine for five days, then mask up for five more and stay away from those at high risk for severe complications.
If you haven’t yet, get vaccinated and stay on top of boosters. The booster recommendations vary and can be found here.
Virginians who have not been fully vaccinated, or are eligible for booster doses, can visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (877) 829-4682 to find nearby vaccination clinics.
Those seeking to find or schedule a testing appointment can visit vase.vdh.virginia.gov/testingappointment.