RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Southwest Virginia’s new COVID-19 case rate dropped just slightly Tuesday after 531 new cases were reported across the nine-county region, according to Virginia Department of Health (VDH) data.

The new figures pushed the seven-day rolling average of new cases per 100,000 down just slightly to 1,246, which is nearly triple Virginia’s statewide rate of 431. The state continues to see its rate drop more rapidly than rural Southwest Virginia’s as it comes off of an Omicron variant peak of 1,543 set Jan. 13.

Virginia’s rate has declined steadily for almost four weeks now, including dropping 38% in the past week compared to a decline of just 17% in the region, from 1,503 to 1,246.

The highest local rates are in Wise and Smyth counties, both of which are above 1,600. Every area county has a rate more than double the state average.

Reported COVID deaths have spiked statewide to their highest level in nearly a year as deaths that occurred during the statewide Omicron surge starting in late December are being reported. Omicron arrived slightly later in Southwest Virginia, and those numbers have just begun to increase in the region.

Three new COVID deaths were reported Tuesday with one each in Smyth, Washington and Wise counties. The seven-day rate of reported COVID deaths per 100,000 is now 10.5 in Southwest Virginia, which is its highest point since early October.

Vaccination rates in Southwest Virginia are among the lowest in the country. Statewide, the total of fully vaccinated people is 22% higher than regionally.

Statewide, VDH reported 1,133,159 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth on Feb. 8.

According to VDH, the total number of confirmed and probable cases is 1,588,958.

VDH reports there have been 14,324 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. 8.

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. – 4,086 cases / 209 hospitalizations / 64 deaths (22 new cases)
Buchanan County – 
4,301 cases / 186 hospitalizations / 91 deaths (37 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)
Dickenson County – 
3,032 cases / 70 hospitalizations / 40 deaths (21 new cases)
Lee County – 
5,688 cases / 154 hospitalizations / 76 deaths (31 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)
Norton – 
1,173 cases / 37 hospitalizations / 21 deaths (28 new cases)
Russell County – 
6,254 cases / 183 hospitalizations / 91 deaths (31 new cases)
Scott County – 
5,222 cases / 197 hospitalizations / 95 deaths (22 new cases)
Smyth County – 
7,844 cases / 371 hospitalizations / 145 deaths (75 new cases, 1 new hospitalization, 1 new death)
Tazewell County – 
9,074 cases / 251 hospitalizations / 136 deaths (49 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)
Washington County, Va. – 
12,778 cases / 726 hospitalizations / 195 deaths (108 new cases, 1 new death)
Wise County – 
9,192 cases / 283 hospitalizations / 163 deaths (107 new cases, 1 new death)

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