COVID-19 cases dip to May 2020 levels as county issues call for more vaccines

The number of COVID-19 cases in Fairfax County has remained relatively stable, mimicking case rates first reported in May of last year.

The stabilization of cases comes as Fairfax County picks up the pace of vaccinations. As of today, the county reported 119 new cases — a number that has remained relatively constant over the last week. Last May, daily case rates hovered in the 100s, similar to case rates that have occurred this month.

The county has said it can meet a deadline of May 1 for expanding eligibility for vaccine appointments to all adults, but officials remains noncommittal on whether or not every Fairfax County resident will receive a vaccine by May 31.

But the push for more vaccines continues. In a March 19 letter to Gov. Ralph Northam, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission urged the state health department to provide more vaccines.

With additional doses allocated to our health districts immediately, we can put that capacity to work to quickly assist the Commonwealth in achieving its vaccination and equity goals, the commission wrote.

So far, the county is making appointments for people who registered on Feb. 18. Still, 28 percent of the total people registered in the county still remain on a waiting list. That’s nearly 98,000 people of the 354,889 people registered.

In the county, 132,307 people are fully vaccinated and 248,323 people have received one dose. The county recently began administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which only requires one dose.

The county has also begun community vaccine clinics — which are not widely publicized — in order to target vulnerable populations.

Statewide, the number of vaccinations has picked up. More than two million Virginians have received their first dose and 1.1 million people are fully vaccinated.

The county also recently expanded eligibility criteria for vaccinations to include workers in manufacturing, grocery stores, and the food and agriculture industry.

As the pace of vaccinations picks up, the Centers for Disease Control has updated its policies on social distancing. Although the CDC still recommends universal masking, students should maintain a distance of at least three feet instead of six feet in classroom settings.

Photo via Fairfax County Health Department

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