RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Southwest Virginia’s seven-day new COVID-19 case rate continued to soar Wednesday with 901 new cases pushing the seven-day spread rate to 1,698 per 100,000 population.

According to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), that rate is now 74% higher than the current statewide rate of 975 and 10% higher than Virginia’s peak statewide rate of 1,543 reached Jan. 13.

The nine-county region’s Omicron variant case spike began about 10 days after Virginia’s statewide numbers started increasing but the area’s lower vaccination rates could be contributing to its overall higher transmission rate.

Southwest Virginia’s rate has increased 40% in the past week and is nearly double its level from two weeks ago.

Death, hospitalization numbers on the move

The region also reported its highest number of new COVID-19 hospitalizations Wednesday with 10 new hospitalizations. Regional rates are increasing even as statewide hospitalization rates have declined from record levels reached earlier this month.

New hospitalizations reported by VDH included four in Smyth County, two each in Washington and Wise counties and one each in Buchanan and Scott counties. Just 10 days ago, the state’s seven-day rate of 25.5 new COVID hospitalizations per 100,000 was more than triple the region’s average of 7.3. Wednesday the state stood at 9.0, and Southwest Virginia at 8.6.

COVID hospitalization rates have fallen from record highs statewide but are rising slightly in Southwest Virginia.

Two new deaths were reported regionally — one in Washington County and one in Wise County. The state reported 50 new deaths and has seen its seven-day COVID death rate increase to its highest level since early November — 2.5 per 100,000. The region’s death rate is nearly double the state’s at 4.8 and Southwest Virginia’s COVID-19 death rate for all of January is well over triple that of the state.

Statewide, VDH reported 1,072,699 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth on Jan. 26.

According to VDH, the total number of confirmed and probable cases is 1,503,119.

VDH reports there have been 13,405 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 Jan. 26:

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. – 3,642 cases / 208 hospitalizations / 62 deaths (53 new cases)
Buchanan County – 3,971 cases / 183 hospitalizations / 91 deaths (75 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)
Dickenson County – 2,758 cases / 68 hospitalizations / 40 deaths (50 new cases)
Lee County – 4,996 cases / 150 hospitalizations / 72 deaths (77 new cases)
Norton – 1,026 cases / 37 hospitalizations / 20 deaths (21 new cases)
Russell County – 5,652 cases / 181 hospitalizations / 81 deaths (62 new cases)
Scott County – 4,727 cases / 194 hospitalizations / 93 deaths (61 new cases)
Smyth County – 6,973 cases / 369 hospitalizations / 143 deaths (109 new cases, 4 new hospitalizations)
Tazewell County – 8,253 cases / 246 hospitalizations / 127 deaths (134 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)
Washington County, Va. – 11,466 cases / 721 hospitalizations / 191 deaths (130 new cases, 2 new hospitalizations, 1 new death)
Wise County – 8,099 cases / 278 hospitalizations / 156 deaths (132 new cases, 2 new hospitalizations, 1 new death)

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