Southwest Virginia COVID case rate rises to highest level since late October

Local Coronavirus Coverage

COVID case rates rose significantly Wednesday in Southwest Virginia to reach their highest rate in three weeks.

RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Southwest Virginia’s COVID-19 case rate increased to its highest level since October on Wednesday as the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported 209 new cases across the nine-county region.

The total represented 8.3% of Virginia’s statewide count for the day, while the hard-hit rural area’s 289,000 people account for just 3.4% of the state’s population. The state daily total was its highest single-day count since Oct. 14.

The region’s community spread rate — a seven-day rolling average of new cases per 100,000 — rose to 264 from Wednesday’s level of 229. The state rate rose from 104 to 117.

The last time the region’s rate was this high was Oct. 29, when it stood at 275. Virginia’s rate was 117 that same date — the same level it is today.

VDH also reported nine new COVID hospitalizations to bring the seven-day rolling average back above 10 per 100,000. It had dipped below that level for the past week — the first time it had been that low since September.

Southwest Virginia has suffered from a COVID-19 death rate nearly three times the state average since Sept. 1.

The past three days have seen 24 new hospitalizations reported. Wednesday’s included three in Smyth County, two in Tazewell and Dickenson counties, one in Bristol and one in Norton.

A new death was reported in Dickenson County.

Dickenson County has the highest current case rate at 545. Also above 300 are Russell (365), Buchanan (357), Scott (325) and Wise (312).

Washington County (including Bristol) is the only county in the region below 200, at 153.

The region continues to post death and hospitalization rates far above the state averages over the course of the delta variant surge. Since Sept. 1, COVID deaths per 100,000 are 81 in the region and 30 statewide.

Hospitalizations during that period are 169 per 100,000 in the region to 69 statewide.

Statewide, VDH reported 703,033 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth on Nov. 17.

According to VDH, the total number of confirmed and probable cases is 949,803.

VDH reports there have been 12,295 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths across the state.

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

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. – 2,337 cases / 180 hospitalizations / 48 deaths (10 new cases)
Buchanan County – 2,679 cases / 157 hospitalizations / 71 deaths (15 new cases)
Dickenson County – 1,804 cases / 62 hospitalizations / 29 deaths (27 new cases, 2 new hospitalizations, 1 new death)
Lee County – 3,822 cases / 140 hospitalizations / 61 deaths (26 new cases)
Norton – 638 cases / 31 hospitalizations / 15 deaths (7 new cases)
Russell County – 3,978 cases / 161 hospitalizations / 67 deaths (15 new cases)
Scott County – 3,313 cases / 174 hospitalizations / 83 deaths (23 new cases)
Smyth County – 5,062 cases / 325 hospitalizations / 121 deaths (23 new cases, 3 new hospitalizations)
Tazewell County – 5,907 cases / 221 hospitalizations / 114 deaths (28 new cases, 2 new hospitalizations)
Washington County, Va. – 7,861 cases / 629 hospitalizations / 155 deaths (19 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)
Wise County – 5,664 cases / 233 hospitalizations / 129 deaths (14 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)

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

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