RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Southwest Virginia’s COVID-19 case rate fell further over the weekend but remains more than triple the state average and above 1,000 new weekly cases per 100,000 people.

The nine-county region reported 704 new cases over the three days. Its community spread rate is now 1,014 and has been above the 1,000 mark for 31 consecutive days. The statewide rate dropped to 307 over the weekend. Virginia’s statewide rate reached 1,000 sooner than Southwest Virginia’s but stayed above that level for just 22 days.

Wise and Smyth counties’ new COVID-19 case rates remain more than four times the state average, with the region’s overall rate 3.3 times higher than Virginia’s as a whole.

Every county in the region has a case rate at least double the state average, with Buchanan and Dickenson counties the lowest at 663 and 658. The highest rates are in Wise County (including Norton) at 1,424 — nearly five times the state rate — Smyth County at 1,265 and Lee County at 1,091.

Southwest Virginia also reported eight new COVID-19 deaths over the weekend. Two each were reported in Lee and Wise counties along with one in Norton and one each in Scott, Tazewell and Washington counties.

The seven-day COVID death rate per 100,000 is 9.8 per 100,000, compared to a rate of 6.9 statewide. Deaths from the Omicron variant pushed Virginia’s rate higher starting in early February. Southwest Virginia’s seven-day rate — typically more than double the state’s — followed and has been higher than Virginia’s for every day since Sept. 1 except Feb. 6-8.

Almost 500 people have died of COVID-19 just since Sept. 1 in the region, which has a population of just over 285,000.

There were four new COVID-19 hospitalizations reported over the weekend, with two in Lee County and one each in Norton and Wise County.

Southwest Virginia has yet to reach a rate of 50% of its population fully vaccinated against COVID. As of Monday, the rate statewide was 70.9%, compared to 49.5% in Southwest Virginia.

Statewide, VDH reported 1,148,561 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth on Feb. 14.

According to VDH, the total number of confirmed and probable cases is 1,610,726.

VDH reports there have been 14,689 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 Feb. 14.

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. – 4,195 cases / 210 hospitalizations / 65 deaths (41 new cases)
Buchanan County – 
4,399 cases / 186 hospitalizations / 92 deaths (20 new cases)
Dickenson County – 
3,104 cases / 70 hospitalizations / 40 deaths (25 new cases)
Lee County – 
5,899 cases / 156 hospitalizations / 78 deaths (62 new cases, 2 new hospitalizations, 2 new deaths)
Norton – 
1,219 cases / 38 hospitalizations / 22 deaths (15 new cases, 1 new hospitalization, 1 new death)
Russell County – 
6,452 cases / 185 hospitalizations / 94 deaths (59 new cases)
Scott County – 
5,411 cases / 197 hospitalizations / 96 deaths (56 new cases, 1 new death)
Smyth County – 
8,146 cases / 371 hospitalizations / 145 deaths (104 new cases)
Tazewell County – 
9,499 cases / 252 hospitalizations / 142 deaths (80 new cases, 1 new death)
Washington County, Va. – 
13,153 cases / 728 hospitalizations / 199 deaths (138 new cases, 1 new death)
Wise County – 
9,578 cases / 286 hospitalizations / 169 deaths (104 new cases, 1 new hospitalization, 2 new deaths)

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