As COVID-19 cases decline, death toll from omicron surge becomes clearer

Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases over the past 180 days, as of Feb. 14, 2022 (via VDH)

Fairfax County’s COVID-19 case levels have almost dropped to where they were before the omicron variant took over.

The Fairfax Health District, which also encompasses the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, added 172 cases today (Monday), bringing its total for the pandemic up to 174,578 cases. With 189 cases, yesterday was the first day since Dec. 14 with fewer than 200 new cases.

According to Virginia Department of Health data, the district is averaging 261 cases per day for the past week, the fewest since Dec. 16. The seven-day average has now been on a downward trajectory for a full month after hitting an all-time high of 2,590 cases on Jan. 13.

All Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases as of Feb. 14, 2022 (via VDH)

Hospitalizations have declined as well, dipping into negative numbers after 25 each were subtracted on Feb. 9 and 11, meaning there were duplicates or ones that belonged to another district. During this past surge, hospitalizations peaked at a weekly average of 6.4 on Jan. 6.

The disease caused by the coronavirus has hospitalized 4,378 Fairfax Health District residents over the past two years.

While the worst of the omicron wave appears to have passed, the scope of the damage that the highly transmissible variant wrought is only just emerging, as the VDH continues to confirm and report Covid-related deaths.

The Fairfax Health District has recorded 84 deaths so far this month, the majority of which likely occurred in January. 1,364 residents have died from Covid since the first fatality was confirmed on March 21, 2020.

Fairfax Health District COVID-19 deaths reported over the past 180 days, as of Feb. 14, 2022 (via VDH)

Fairfax County’s community transmission level remains high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, thanks to a case rate of 189.97 per 100,000 people over the past seven days. The testing positivity rate, however, has dipped down to 8.6%, which is in the “substantial” category.

The declining test positivity rate comes as the VDH prepares to launch a new mobile testing van tomorrow (Tuesday) that will serve sites with accessibility challenges across Northern Virginia.

As for vaccinations, 960,269 Fairfax Health District residents — 81.1% of the population — have received at least one dose, including:

  • 90.4% of residents 18 and older
  • 96.4% of 16-17 year olds
  • 91.9% of 12-15 year olds
  • 50.8% of 5-11 year olds

About 73.2% of the district’s population is now fully vaccinated, amounting to 866,579 people, including 82.2% of adults. The VDH reports that 39.6% of the county population has gotten a booster or third dose.

Anticipation of a vaccine soon becoming available for children younger than 5 was dampened last week when the Food and Drug Administration announced on Friday (Feb. 11) that it would delay a planned meeting on whether to authorize the two-shot regimen requested by Pfizer and BioNTech.

The manufacturers said they will instead wait until early April to seek authorization, giving them time to collect data on all three planned doses for children between 6 months and 4 years of age.

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