After a major wave of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations during the winter, Virginia’s COVID-19 daily case and hospitalization statistics have gone down to levels not seen since October 2020.
On Sunday, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported 761 new cases, and on Monday, the VDH reported 611 new cases, down from the worst days January 16, 17, and 18 which reached respectively, 6,757 new cases, 9,914 new cases, and 7,245 new cases.
The amount of hospitalizations saw a similar peak in mid-January and is now back down to levels not seen since October. On Monday, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) reported a seven-day moving average number of hospitalizations of 925, a number not seen since October 5. That’s down from a peak seven-day moving average of 3,152 on January 18.
“Virginia’s daily average of new #COVID19 cases has dropped nearly 40 percent in the last 3 weeks, and hospitalizations are the lowest they have been since early October. Vaccinations work—and getting your shot has never been easier,” Governor Ralph Northam tweeted Monday evening.
The VDH reported Monday that 32 percent of Virginians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 45 percent have received at least one dose.
In a press call on April 30, Virginia State Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula said that the CDC expects to approve the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 and up later in May, followed a few weeks later by approval for Moderna for ages 12 and up.
Avula said the VDH is shifting its vaccination strategy as demand for the vaccines drops off.
“This past weekend was the first time that in every part of the state we saw demand peak,” Avula said.
He said that the VDH is working on strategies to make it more convenient to get vaccines and to reach people who might have difficulty getting them from other sources. Part of that includes a shift in recommendations to vaccine providers. Instead of trying to use all doses each week, providers can store them, allowing doctors with small medical practices to stock vaccines even if they might not be able to use them all in one week.
“That’s a big step, and that means more providers will be willing to take small amounts of vaccine and then have it available for their patients,” Avula said.
He said the VDH and its partners are looking at expanding mobile clinics to places like farmers’ markets and voting sites as an effort to reach the rest of Virginia’s population.
Avula said, “These are the kinds of things that you’ll see more and more of because convenience is such an important piece of the equation right now.”
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