Covid cases in Fairfax County rise to mid-February levels

Based on case and testing positivity numbers, Fairfax County is seeing “high” COVID-19 community transmission, as of April 25, 2022 (via CDC)

Officially, Fairfax County’s COVID-19 community level remains low, but when the county last saw this many cases, Fairfax County Public Schools was still fighting to keep masks in place.

The Fairfax Health District, which also includes the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, is now averaging 270 cases a day for the past week — the highest seven-day average since Feb. 13 (274 cases) — after adding more than 300 cases each on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (April 21-23).

The 399 cases reported on April 22 set a new one-day record for this spring and represented the most new cases in a single day since Feb. 5, which had 445 cases, according to Virginia Department of Health data.

As typically happens after the weekend, case numbers have dipped slightly with just 196 cases added today (Monday), bringing the district’s all-time totals up to 184,805 cases, 4,448 hospitalizations, and 1,507 deaths.

Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases for the past 26 weeks, as of April 25, 2022 (via VDH)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies the county’s COVID-19 level as low based on hospital admissions (currently 2.2 per 100,000 residents for past seven days) and the percentage of beds occupied by Covid patients (1.4%).

However, cases have more than tripled since the weekly average hit a low of 77 cases on March 22.

The Fairfax Health District’s PCR testing positivity rate has also jumped from 3.7% at the end of March to 8.9% as of April 21, though only about half as many tests are being conducted as there were during the height of the omicron variant surge in January.

Based on the case and testing metrics the CDC used until late February, Fairfax County’s COVID-19 transmission would be designated as “high.”

All Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases, as of April 25, 2022 (via VDH)

Vaccination demand remains relatively flat, with fewer than 1,200 residents obtaining their first dose since last week, according to the Fairfax County Health Department.

About 83.5% of all Fairfax Health District residents — 987,872 people — have gotten at least one vaccine dose, including:

  • 92.2% of people 18 and older
  • 98.4% of 16-17 year olds
  • 94.2% of 12-15 year olds
  • 58.8% of 5-11 year olds

897,626 district residents, or 75.8%, are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve gotten two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. That includes 83.9% of all adults.

In Fairfax County, 495,196 residents — 43% of the population — have received a booster or third dose, including 52.5% of adults and 33.8% of adolescents aged 12-17.

Since the end of March, the CDC has also recommended second booster shots for some people, including people 50 and older, those who got the J&J vaccine, and immunocompromised individuals.

Kids under 5, however, may have to wait until this summer to get their first shot, even as mask requirements and other Covid health protocols disappear.

According to Politico, Moderna plans to seek authorization of a two-shot vaccine for kids younger than 6 this month, but data suggests that, like a Pfizer vaccine that got delayed, a third dose may be needed to more effectively prevent symptomatic infections.