RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Southwest Virginia recorded its lowest weekday total of new COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the Omicron variant surge Tuesday, according to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

The rural nine-county region’s 179 new reported cases put its seven-day rolling average at 655 cases per 100,000 population — still far above the state’s rate of 197, but continuing to drop.

Only one new COVID-19 death was reported Tuesday, in Russell County. New hospitalizations were reported in Scott and Wise counties.

COVID-19 death rates in Southwest Virginia continue to far exceed those statewide on a population-adjusted basis, as do COVID-19 hospitalization rates. Washington and Smyth counties have the two highest COVID hospitalization rates out of Virginia’s 95 counties over the course of the pandemic.

Smyth County has the third-highest death rate and Wise County’s is among the 10 highest in the state. Southwest Virginia’s vaccination rates are just over two-thirds the overall rate statewide, which health experts say leaves those who contract COVID-19 much more vulnerable to severe illness and death than those who are vaccinated.

Statewide, VDH reported 1,162,804 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth on Feb. 22.

According to VDH, the total number of confirmed and probable cases is 1,630,682.

VDH reports there have been 15,120 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. 22.

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. – 4,302 cases / 212 hospitalizations / 67 deaths (15 new cases)
Buchanan County – 
4,578 cases / 189 hospitalizations / 95 deaths (15 new cases)
Dickenson County – 
3,208 cases / 72 hospitalizations / 42 deaths (9 new cases)
Lee County – 
6,057 cases / 157 hospitalizations / 82 deaths (14 new cases)
Norton – 
1,268 cases / 38 hospitalizations / 22 deaths (2 new cases)
Russell County – 
6,651 cases / 187 hospitalizations / 96 deaths (18 new cases, 1 new death)
Scott County – 
5,597 cases / 201 hospitalizations / 99 deaths (2 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)
Smyth County – 
8,482 cases / 380 hospitalizations / 158 deaths (26 new cases)
Tazewell County – 
9,758 cases / 253 hospitalizations / 148 deaths (19 new cases)
Washington County, Va. – 
13,444 cases / 732 hospitalizations / 204 deaths (27 new cases)
Wise County – 
9,920 cases / 289 hospitalizations / 175 deaths (32 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)

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