PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia reported nearly 11,000 more cases on Wednesday as hospitalization numbers near a new record level for the pandemic.

The 2,965 patients currently hospitalized (499 in ICU) statewide is just below the peak of the 2020-21 winter surge (3,201 total patients on Jan. 13, 2021) that came with the less contagious original version of the coronavirus.

The omicron variant in comparison is leading to much fewer hospitalizations and deaths on a per case basis, but hospitalizations numbers are up so much due to the overwhelming number of new infections. Virginia’s reported nearly 100,000 new infections statewide in the last week alone. That’s considered a significant undercount due to the lack of testing and unreported “mild” and asymptomatic cases.

Vaccinated people (especially those who’ve gotten their boosters) still have significant protection from severe symptoms. Most of the new infections, hospitalizations and deaths continue to be in unvaccinated, with unvaccinated people 12 times more likely to be hospitalized, VDH data shows.

Thought hospitalizations are about the same as last winter, deaths are much lower with omicron, due to widespread vaccines and the inherent nature of the variant. South Africa reported recently that it passed its peak in cases without a major spike in deaths. (VDH did says there’s a reporting delay this month as it applies new federal guidelines for COVID-19 associated deaths but deaths are also down nationwide). The U.S. overall still is reporting about 1,300 new COVID deaths per day on average.

Former FDA Commission Scott Gottlieb, who’s also on the board of Pfizer, said on Wednesday morning that he expects the omicron surge to subside in the U.S. by mid-February.

Statewide metrics

  • New cases: +10,728 (1,186,887 total), 14,212 on average (highest levels of pandemic)
  • Deaths: +9 (15,631 total), has been down (13 per day on average now) but VDH says there’s a reporting delay this month as it applies new federal guidelines for COVID-19 associated deaths
  • Current hospitalizations: +167 patients (2,965 total currently, 2,479 7-day average), above delta wave and nearing 2020-21 winter surge peak, ICU numbers almost near 2020-21 surge (499 in ICU now, down 13 from Tuesday, vs. upper 500s in winter surge), ventilator usage (280 patients) is lower than 2020-21 surge (topped out around 350 patients but climbing
  • (2,406 (-71 from Tuesday) total beds still available statewide, 415 for ICU (-17 from Tuesday)
  • Test positivity: 32%, rising and at record levels, up from 5-6% last month
  • Vaccine doses administered: 14,102,388
  • Percent of population with at least one dose: 77.5% (6,618,802)
  • Percent of adults (18+) with at least one dose: 88.9%
  • Percent of population fully vaccinated: 67.7% (5,782,455)
  • Percent of adults fully vaccinated: 78.12
  • People vaccinated with booster/third dose: 2,096,324

To view local virus data and more, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website.