COVID-19 vaccinations pick up in Fairfax County amid steady case levels

More than 115,000 Fairfax County residents have now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the latest state dataindicates.

The Virginia Department of Health reported today (Monday) that Fairfax County has administered a total of 312,706 vaccine doses to 203,015 people, 115,506 of whom have gotten both required doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The county surpassed the milestone of 100,000 completed vaccinations over the past week, as officials anticipate the availability of supply to continue increasing. The Fairfax County Health Department received 31,590 doses of vaccine from the state between March 8 and 14, a sizable uptick from the 19,220 doses that came in the week before.

Even as vaccinations pick up, county leaders and health officials urge the community to remain vigilant and keep adhering to COVID-19 health protocols.

With another 115 cases reported today, the Fairfax Health District has recorded 69,628 COVID-19 cases, 3,653 hospitalizations, and 1,057 deaths. The seven-day average currently sits at 134 new cases per day, though the rate has been trending steadily downward since peaking at nearly 700 cases on Jan. 17.

“The path forward isn’t simple,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said in his most recent newsletter on Friday (March 12). “We still see about 140 new cases a day and I urge you to continue to wear a mask, social distance, and wash your hands. What’s next won’t be easy, but there is a way forward.”

The hope promised by an accelerating vaccination effort was dampened this weekend as Virginia’s COVID-19 death toll exceeded 10,000 fatalities on Sunday (March 14), which was also the one-year anniversary of the state’s first recorded death caused by the novel coronavirus.

To mark the occasion, Gov. Ralph Northam ordered all Virginia flags to be lowered to half-mast from sunrise to sunset yesterday. As a tribute to the pandemic’s victims, the governor’s mansion in Richmond is being illuminated in amber light until March 21 — the day Fairfax County reported its first COVID-19 death.

At the same time, Northam has set ambitious targets for the Commonwealth’s vaccination campaign, pledging to not only meet President Joe Biden’s goal of opening eligibility to all adults by May 1, but also, “to celebrate independence from this virus on July 4.”

“We can do this in Virginia if we all continue following public health guidelines and get vaccinated,” Northam said. “This is how we will come together, face down this dark period, and emerge stronger than ever.”

Images via CDC on Unsplash, Virginia Department of Health

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