New COVID case rate in Southwest Virginia lowest since mid-August

Local Coronavirus Coverage

Southwest Virginia’s COVID-19 community spread rate dropped below 300 new weekly cases per 100,000 population Thursday — the first time it’s been that low since Aug. 19.

Community spread rate still nearly double state average

RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Southwest Virginia’s new COVID-19 case rate dropped to its lowest level in more than two months Thursday as the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported 101 new cases in the nine-county region.

And for the first time since mid-September, that rate of new weekly cases per 100,000 population isn’t at least double Virginia’s overall rate.

The seven-day “community spread rate” was 291 Thursday, marking its first time below 300 since Aug. 19, when it was 296 and climbing steadily. The rate Wednesday was 335, and a week ago it was 386.

Virginia’s rate dropped Thursday to 147 from 156 on Wednesday. It’s declined 15% in the past week, while Southwest Virginia’s rate has dropped by 25%.

The region also reported six new hospitalizations Thursday — three in Smyth County, two in Russell County and one in Washington County.

One new death was reported in Wise County. Thursday marked the second straight day of only one death being reported in the region, and the seven-day COVID death rate per 100,000 population reached its lowest total since Sept. 24 at 7.3.

Area impact from delta variant far exceeds state’s

While the numbers are improving, the delta variant’s toll in Southwest Virginia has far exceeded its impact statewide.

In addition to higher case rates, the region’s hospitalization and death rates are among the highest in the state since September 1.

About 2.7 times as many Southwest Virginians per capita have died of COVID since then — 54.6 per 100,000 population compared to 20.4 statewide.

Additionally, more than twice as many have been hospitalized for the virus during that span. In Southwest Virginia, the figure is 114 per 100,000, while it’s 53 statewide.

Only about two-thirds as many Southwest Virginians are vaccinated against COVID compared to the state. The region’s fully vaccinated percentage of 43.3% compares to 62.2% statewide and 57.1% nationally. It’s also lower than Northeast Tennessee’s rate of 45.9% and Tennessee’s rate of 48.0%.

Statewide, VDH reported 679,262 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth on Oct. 21.

According to VDH, the total number of confirmed and probable cases is 913,100.

VDH reports there have been 11,461 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths across the state.

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. – 2,242 cases / 161 hospitalizations / 47 deaths (3 new cases)
Buchanan County – 2,355 cases / 140 hospitalizations / 59 deaths (6 new cases)
Dickenson County – 1,597 cases / 55 hospitalizations / 26 deaths (7 new cases)
Lee County – 3,676 cases / 138 hospitalizations / 59 deaths (9 new cases)
Norton – 558 cases / 28 hospitalizations / 13 deaths (2 new cases)
Russell County – 3,700 cases / 154 hospitalizations / 58 deaths (9 new cases, 2 new hospitalizations)
Scott County – 3,084 cases / 163 hospitalizations / 76 deaths (13 new cases)
Smyth County – 4,769 cases / 286 hospitalizations / 113 deaths (12 new cases, 3 new hospitalizations)
Tazewell County – 5,606 cases / 220 hospitalizations / 98 deaths (9 new cases)
Washington County, Va. – 7,456 cases / 577 hospitalizations / 143 deaths (11 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)
Wise County – 5,180 cases / 226 hospitalizations / 127 deaths (20 new cases, 1 new death)

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

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