Southwest Virginia COVID case rate rises again amid surge in Cumberland Plateau

Local Coronavirus Coverage

Southwest Virginia’s COVID community spread rate started the month 2.1 times higher than the state’s and now is 2.4 times higher. The rate is up 45% this month.

RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Southwest Virginia’s COVID-19 case rate rose again Tuesday and is now 45% higher than it was Nov. 1, according to Virginia Department of Health (VDH) data.

Case rates are highest in the Cumberland Plateau Health District, comprised of Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell counties. Overall, the nine-county region now has a rolling seven-day average of 334 new cases per 100,000.

Cumberland Plateau, with a combined population of about 102,000, has a rate of 431 led by Dickenson County (population 14,318), which is at 901.

Dickenson’s Monday rate of 833 gave it the 19th-highest new case rate in the nation, according to a New York Times database.

Dickenson reported 27 of Tuesday’s 173 total cases and Buchanan 31. Cumberland Plateau accounts for just 35% of Southwest Virginia’s population but had 57% of its reported cases Tuesday.

The region also reported three new deaths, one each in the cities of Bristol and Norton and one in Scott County.

A net of three new COVID hospitalizations were reported with one each in Bristol, Norton, Washington County and Buchanan County and one hospitalization being removed from Wise County’s total.

Statewide, a net of negative 241 hospitalizations were reported due to a data correction. 25 new deaths were reported statewide.

The region’s seven-day death rate of 4.8 per 100,000 is nearly triple the state’s rate of 1.8. That state number is the lowest it’s been since Sept. 11.

Southwest Virginia’s COVID vaccination rate remains far below the state’s and the gap is growing.

As of Tuesday, Southwest Virginia is at 51% with at least one vaccine dose while the state average is 73.6%. Fully vaccinated totals are 44.8% regionally and 64.5% statewide.

Statewide, VDH reported 708,779 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth on Nov. 23.

According to VDH, the total number of confirmed and probable cases is 959,156.

VDH reports there have been 12,234 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths across the state.

Below is a complete breakdown of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Southwest Virginia since Monday.

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. – 2,364 cases / 182 hospitalizations / 49 deaths (7 new cases, 1 new death)
Buchanan County – 2,749 cases / 159 hospitalizations / 74 deaths (31 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)
Dickenson County – 1,906 cases / 62 hospitalizations / 29 deaths (27 new cases)
Lee County – 3,881 cases / 141 hospitalizations / 62 deaths (14 new cases)
Norton – 641 cases / 33 hospitalizations / 16 deaths (9 new cases, 1 new hospitalization, 1 new death)
Russell County – 4,066 cases / 162 hospitalizations / 68 deaths (19 new cases)
Scott County – 3,390 cases / 174 hospitalizations / 84 deaths (6 new cases, 1 new death)
Smyth County – 5,116 cases / 329 hospitalizations / 123 deaths (13 new cases)
Tazewell County – 6,002 cases / 223 hospitalizations / 115 deaths (21 new cases)
Washington County, Va. – 7,969 cases / 636 hospitalizations / 156 deaths (29 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)
Wise County – 5,743 cases / 233 hospitalizations / 130 deaths (-3 new cases, -1 new hospitalization)

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

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