VDH: Southwest Virginia COVID spread rate now nearly double the state average

Local Coronavirus Coverage

Southwest Virginia’s COVID-19 community spread rate is nearly double the state average and has increased at 4 times the state rate in September.

Region’s case rate has grown 4 times faster than statewide rate in September

RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Southwest Virginia’s COVID-19 “community spread” rate is now nearly double the statewide average and that rate has increased four times faster this month regionally than statewide.

Southwest Virginia had a daily average of 230 new cases of COVID-19 over the long weekend, according to The Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

VDH reported at total of 589 new cases of COVID-19, 13 new hospitalizations and 2 new deaths (in Washington and Scott counties) related to the virus in Southwest Virginia Monday in its first reporting since Friday.

Case rates have risen at a much faster rate in rural Southwest Virginia than they have statewide during September.

The nine-county News Channel 11 viewing area reported 689 new cases over the weekend. It’s reached a high for the delta surge of 552 new weekly cases per 100,000 population.

That’s 95% higher than the Commonwealth’s overall spread rate of 283 new cases per 100,000 population.

The statewide average has leveled off this month, increasing just 9% — it was 261 on August 31.

Regionally, the rate has climbed 36% since August 31, when it stood at 402.

The only COVID statistic reporting lower numbers regionally than statewide is vaccinations. Southwest Virginia reached 40% of its population fully vaccinated last week, while the state is above 57% in that category.

The region’s death and hospitalization rates have been higher than state averages during the delta variant surge. Washington County has the highest hospitalization rate through the pandemic’s entirety among all 95 Virginia counties.

Washington County reported seven new hospitalizations over the weekend. Smyth County reported two, and one was reported in Norton. Lee, Scott and Wise counties also each reported one.

The highest rates among the counties are in Lee (675), Russell (666), Scott (621) and Tazewell (601) counties. Buchanan’s 209 rate is the only one in the region below 500.

PREVIOUS: VDH: 219 new COVID-19 cases, 4 new deaths reported in Southwest Virginia Friday 

VDH reported 611,798 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth on Sept. 13.

According to VDH, the total number of confirmed and probable cases is 811,079.

VDH reports there have been 10,204 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths across the state.

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. – 1,992 cases / 139 hospitalizations / 41 deaths (36 new cases)
Buchanan County – 1,934 cases / 127 hospitalizations / 47 deaths (33 new cases)
Dickenson County – 1,283 cases / 52 hospitalizations / 20 deaths (41 new cases)
Lee County – 2,996 cases / 125 hospitalizations / 50 deaths (82 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)
Norton – 414 cases / 21 hospitalizations / 8 deaths (10 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)
Russell County – 2,948 cases / 142 hospitalizations / 42 deaths (73 new cases)
Scott County – 2,431 cases / 151 hospitalizations / 67 deaths (53 new cases, 1 new hospitalization, 1 new death)
Smyth County – 3,652 cases / 232 hospitalizations / 97 deaths (70 new cases, 2 new hospitalizations)
Tazewell County – 4,743 cases / 205 hospitalizations / 83 deaths (98 new cases)
Washington County, Va. – 6,314 cases / 487 hospitalizations / 119 deaths (113 new cases, 7 new hospitalizations, 1 new death)
Wise County – 4,139 cases / 202 hospitalizations / 113 deaths (80 new cases, 1 new hospitalization)

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

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