Virginia Dec. 28 COVID-19 update: Cases at record levels and still climbing; hospitalizations see big increase

Coronavirus

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia reported another 7,439 new cases on Tuesday as it sees record case levels fueled by the omicron wave.

There was also a substantial increase in new current hospitalizations, up 234 patients from Monday’s reporting to 1,906 total. That’s about 300 patients shy of the summer delta wave and but still well below the 3,000-plus patients of the 2020-21 winter surge. ICU levels (currently 407 patients) are also lower relative to similar total hospitalization numbers from earlier in the pandemic.

“What we’re seeing in the surveillance numbers is usually just the tip of the iceberg for what’s really going on,” said VDH Epidemiologist Dr. Brandy Darby.

Darby pointed to the ups and downs of the last two years as an indicator of what may lie ahead.

“We’re going to probably see these [case numbers] continue to climb over the next several weeks and then start, hopefully, into that long downward slope,” she said.

The vast majority of those new hospitalizations are among unvaccinated people. The chart of cases by vaccination status from VDH is striking.

The best way to avoid getting seriously sick is to get vaccinated and get a booster dose. Data has shown the booster dose of Pfizer and Moderna can also significantly increase protection against infection.

Meanwhile Virginia’s still reporting around 30 COVID deaths per day, but that’s about 10 deaths per day lower than the summer delta wave. Deaths are also substantially lower than the roughly 150-200 deaths per day on average of the 2020-21 surge (before vaccinations).

The nation overall is reporting 1,205 new deaths per day, which is actually a 5 percent decrease from two weeks ago. Cases in that span are up 105%, per the New York Times’ virus tracker.

Virginia did add 185 new deaths to their total on Tuesday, but 167 were Virginia residents who died out-of-state in 2020, VDH says. In a statement, VDH says there’s a long delay before they receive those reports and they review the death reports at the end of the following year. You can read more about how they count COVID deaths and assess data here.

State metrics

  • New cases (+7,439, 1,075,288 total), 6,736 on average (highest levels of pandemic)
  • Deaths (+185, 15,504 total), rising again after falling to 12 per day, but 185 added Tuesday include 167 deaths from Virginia residents who died out of the state in 2020
  • Current hospitalizations (+234, 1,906 total currently,1,650 7-day average), rising but still below summer delta wave, 407 in ICU (2,970 total beds still available statewide, 438 for ICU)
  • Test positivity: 15.9%, rising overall and almost near previous peaks, up from 5-6% last month
  • Vaccine doses administered: 13,882,230
  • Percent of population with at least one dose: 76.9% (6,565,927)
  • Percent of adults (18+) with at least one dose: 88.3%
  • Percent of population fully vaccinated: 67.4% (5,751,692)
  • Percent of adults fully vaccinated: 77.9%
  • People vaccinated with booster/third dose: 1,958,393

Local cases

  • Accomack: 4,446 cases, 340 hospitalized, 83 deaths (+18 cases, +1 hospitalized)
  • Chesapeake: 32,187 cases, 1,301 hospitalized, 377 deaths (+105 cases, +8 hospitalized)
  • Franklin: 1,755 cases, 75 hospitalized, 44 deaths (+3 cases)
  • Gloucester: 4,346 cases, 89 hospitalized, 83 deaths (+37 cases, +1 hospitalized)
  • Hampton: 16,746 cases, 643 hospitalized, 256 deaths (+112 cases, +2 hospitalized, +4 deaths)
  • Isle of Wight: 4,931 cases, 228 hospitalized, 93 deaths (+19 cases, +2 hospitalized)
  • James City County: 8,138 cases, 244 hospitalized, 100 deaths (+60 cases, +1 hospitalized)
  • Mathews: 989 cases, 28 hospitalized, 24 deaths (+2 cases)
  • Newport News: 22,635 cases, 690 hospitalized, 319 deaths (+129 cases, +2 hospitalized, +5 deaths)
  • Norfolk: 26,888 cases, 1,328 hospitalized, 369 deaths (+107 cases, +4 hospitalized, +2 deaths)
  • Northampton: 1,235 cases, 108 hospitalized, 49 deaths (+2 cases, +1 death)
  • Poquoson: 1,482 cases, 37 hospitalized, 23 deaths (+9 cases)
  • Portsmouth: 13,893 cases, 909 hospitalized, 256 deaths (+79 cases, +4 hospitalized, +1 death)
  • Southampton: 2,519 cases, 89 hospitalized, 73 deaths (+2 cases, +1 death)
  • Suffolk: 12,070 cases, 722 hospitalized, 256 deaths (+61 cases)
  • Virginia Beach: 56,183 cases, 2,465 hospitalized, 596 deaths (+1355 cases, +19 hospitalized, +5 deaths)
  • Williamsburg: 1,306 cases, 34 hospitalized, 13 deaths ( +4 cases, -3 hospitalized)
  • York: 6,236 cases, 130 hospitalized, 86 deaths (+60 cases, +2 deaths)

Local test positivity: 17% on average and rising

  • Chesapeake – 17.5%
  • Eastern Shore – 15.4%
  • Hampton – 20.1%
  • Norfolk – 16.9%
  • Peninsula – 14.8%
  • Portsmouth – 19%
  • Virginia Beach – 16%
  • Western Tidewater – 16%

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Senatara COVID-19 Infographic (Dec. 2020)

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