RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Southwest Virginia’s COVID-19 case rate continued its rapid decline Wednesday as just 64 new cases were reported by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

The seven-day rolling average of new cases per 100,000 people is now 162, which is the lowest it has been since early August. Washington, Scott and Lee counties have rates below 100, with Lee the lowest at 77. Depending on hospitalization rates that could put those counties into the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID level of “moderate” for the first time since the Delta variant took hold in early August.

The overall rate for the region is 162 — slightly less than double Virginia’s statewide rate of 84. But Southwest Virginia, where the Omicron variant surge arrived later, has seen its average fall more quickly than Virginia’s of late. Several weeks ago, the nine-county region had a case rate more than triple the state.

Buchanan and Tazewell counties in the Cumberland Plateau Health District reported the majority of Wednesday’s cases and have the highest case rates at 251 for Buchanan and 250 for Tazewell. Others currently above 200 are Wise County at 239 and Dickenson at 212.

The COVID-19 reported death rate per 100,000 has also begun declining. Two COVID deaths were reported regionally Wednesday, one in Buchanan and one in Lee County, and two were reported Tuesday — one each in Smyth and Wise counties, while Tazewell County had a previously identified COVID death deleted.

The region’s seven-day rate of COVID deaths per 100,000 dropped to 6.7, which is lower than it has been since Feb. 5.

Reported COVID hospitalizations regionally were in Bristol, and in Russell, Tazewell and Wise counties.

Statewide, VDH reported 1,177,551 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth on March 9.

According to VDH, the total number of confirmed and probable cases is 1,650,281.

VDH reports there have been 15,876 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths across the state.

Below is a complete breakdown of local COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Southwest Virginia, with new case numbers on March 9.

Note: VDH does not report whether cases are active or recovered. County and community case totals can include active, recovered, confirmed and probable cases.

Bristol, Va. – 4,365 cases / 219 hospitalizations / 72 deaths (0 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)
Buchanan County – 
4,770 cases / 190 hospitalizations / 104 deaths (22 new cases, 1 new death)
Dickenson County – 
3,308 cases / 73 hospitalizations / 45 deaths (2 new cases)
Lee County – 
6,185 cases / 165 hospitalizations / 87 deaths (4 new cases, 1 new death)
Norton – 
1,295 cases / 40 hospitalizations / 22 deaths (0 new cases)
Russell County – 
6,790 cases / 192 hospitalizations / 101 deaths (1 new case, 1 new hospitalization)
Scott County – 
5,701 cases / 206 hospitalizations / 102 deaths (1 new case)
Smyth County – 
8,667 cases / 390 hospitalizations / 164 deaths (7 new cases)
Tazewell County – 
10,028 cases / 258 hospitalizations / 158 deaths (13 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)
Washington County, Va. – 
13,633 cases / 739 hospitalizations / 208 deaths (5 new cases)
Wise County – 
10,154 cases / 299 hospitalizations / 184 deaths (9 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)

For full coverage of the entire Commonwealth of Virginia, click HERE.