A June that generally provided reason for optimism comes to a close with the Fairfax Health District almost doubling its COVID-19 case total for the month over the past week.
The district, which includes Fairfax County and the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, has added 103 new cases since June 1 for an all-time total of 78,104 cases, but 66 of those cases came in the last seven days, including four today (Monday), according to Virginia Department of Health data.
However, the district’s hospitalization total stayed flat from last Monday (June 21) at 4,137 people.
VDH data shows that two people were hospitalized by the disease caused by the novel coronavirus in the past week — one county resident and one Falls Church City resident — but both jursidictions also subtracted a case in the same time period, resulting in a net-zero increase.
Five more people died from COVID-19 in the last week, bringing the district’s overall death total up to 1,141 people.
An Associated Press analysis of national health data from May found that just 0.1% of new COVID-19 hospitalizations and 0.8% of deaths were people who had been fully vaccinated, suggesting that the mortality rate would now be almost zero if everyone eligible for vaccination got the shot.
The Fairfax County Health Department did not return Reston Now’s query about whether the county is seeing the same trend of unvaccinated people accounting for nearly all hospitalizations and deaths by publication time.
As of this morning, 1.3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to Fairfax Health District residents. 737,991 residents — 74.7% of adults and 62.4% of the total population — have gotten at least one shot, and 644,361 residents — 66% of adults and 54.4% of the total population — are fully vaccinated, according to the FCHD dashboard.
Statewide, about half (50.5%) of Virginia’s population is now fully vaccinated, including 61.4% of people 18 and older. 70.9% of adults or 58.7% of the overall population have received at least one vaccine dose.
In addition to lowering the risk of hospitalization and death, the COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for use in the U.S. can provide protection from variants of the virus that could spread more easily or cause more severe illness, according to VDH.
VDH announced last Tuesday (June 22) that it has added the Delta variant to its Varients of Concern dashboard, which tracks mutations that are considered to pose a greater risk to human health.
The Delta variant contributed to India’s devastating second wave of the pandemic and has been linked to surges elsewhere, including the United Kingdom and Australia, leading some countries to reimpose public health restrictions.
As of Friday (June 25), when the dashboard was last updated, Virginia had recorded 48 cases of the delta variant, including 15 in Northern Virginia, but VDH says the actual number of cases is likely higher since not all positive samples are tested to determine the strain of the virus.
“To protect yourself and others, get vaccinated for COVID-19,” VDH said in its news release. “Until you are fully vaccinated, continue wearing a mask correctly, stay at least six feet from others outside of your household, avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and wash your hands often…The best way to stop variant strains from developing in the first place is to stop the spread of the virus.”
Photo via CDC on Unsplash
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