Virginia Jan. 4 COVID-19 update: 15K new cases, hospitalizations nearing record levels


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia reported another 15,449 new coronavirus cases and 187 new COVID-19 hospitalizations on Thursday, bring its current total of hospitalizations to 2,798 — just under the peak levels of the 2020-21 winter surge.

Though hospitalizations are high, we are seeing a lower level of hospitalizations on a per case basis with this omicron wave, due to vaccinations/prior infections and an omicron strain that appears to be weaker than delta, but the sheer number of cases (the vast majority among the unvaccinated) are still enough to drive up hospitalizations and strain an already depleted health care system.

Among those in the hospital (remember that most are unvaccinated) we’re seeing similar levels of ICU/ventilator usage compared to that 2020-21 winter surge.

There’s still some of the delta variant circulating as well, which could be driving more serious infections, but the most recent CDC data shows omicron is now accounting for as much as 94% of cases in our region and about 95% overall nationwide.

Some good news is that COVID deaths appear to be down slightly, mirroring the national trend that’s seen a 3% reduction in deaths from 14 days ago, per the New York Times. The Virginia Department of Health did say this week that January 2022 death reporting would be delayed as VDH applies new national guidance for classifying COVID-associated deaths, so that could be affecting reporting.

VDH said to look at its “deaths by date of death” chart for the best idea of how things are going and not the traditional reporting numbers.

Statewide metrics

  • New cases: +15,449 (1,160,703 total), 14,410 on average (highest levels of pandemic)
  • Deaths: +7 (15,622 total), has been down (17 per day on average now)
  • Current hospitalizations: +187 patients (2,798 total currently, 2,343 7-day average), above delta wave and nearing 2020-21 winter surge peak, ICU numbers almost near 2020-21 surge (512 in ICU now vs. upper 500s in winter surge), ventilator usage (275 patients) is lower than 2020-21 surge (topped out around 350 patients but climbing
  • (2,477 total beds still available statewide, 432 for ICU)
  • Test positivity: 30%, 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

You can view local data on VDH’s website under the locality page.

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Senatara COVID-19 Infographic (Dec. 2020)

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