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Covid cases plateau in Fairfax County, as new subvariant takes over U.S.

Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases over the past 26 weeks, as of July 11, 2022 (via VDH)

After dropping earlier this summer, Fairfax County’s COVID-19 caseload has essentially leveled off over the past month.

With 297 new cases reported today (Monday), the Fairfax Health District is averaging 412 cases per day for the past week, thanks in part to a deluge of 641 cases on Friday (July 8), according to data from the Virginia Department of Health.

The weekly average for the district, which includes the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, has hovered around the low 400s throughout July so far, except for a two-day dip below the 400-mark coming out of the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

That remains below this spring’s peak average of 601 cases on May 25 but well above the 2022 low point of 77 cases on March 22, which came before a series of new omicron subvariants sent cases surging.

Speaking of omicron subvariants, another mutation of the disease has been making the rounds in the U.S. Dubbed BA.5, the new variant became the country’s dominant Covid strain last week and could be most transmissible one yet, proving more adept at evading immunity from previous infections, according to The New York Times.

VDH hasn’t listed BA.5 as a variant of concern yet, so it’s unclear how prevalent the subvariant is in Virginia.

All Fairfax Health District COVID-19 cases, as of July 11, 2022 (via VDH)

However, testing positivity rates have soared since mid-June. As of last Thursday (July 7), the Fairfax Health District has seen 21.1% of tests come back positive for COVID-19 — the highest rate since Jan. 21 — compared to 16.3% on June 18.

Even that may be an underestimation, since positive results from at-home testing aren’t reported, suggesting the official data doesn’t fully reflect the disease’s actual presence in the community.

Fairfax County’s COVID-19 community level is still medium, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The county is seeing 231.63 cases and 5.4 hospital admissions per 100,000 residents, with an estimated 62 new patients in the seven days leading up to July 7.

In total, there have been 219,731 cases of COVID-19, 4,699 hospitalizations, and 1,546 deaths among Fairfax Health District residents during the pandemic.

According to Fairfax County Health Department data, 998,810 district residents, or 84.4%, have gotten at least one Covid vaccine dose, including:

  • 93% of people 18 and older
  • 99.2% of 16-17 year olds
  • 95.2% of 12-15 year olds
  • 61.3% of 5-11 year olds

Data for the number of kids under 5 who have received a dose since they became available to that age group last month isn’t available online, though an FCHD spokesperson told FFXnow on June 27 that the department is planning to post data “in the weeks ahead.”

Right now, 910,412 district residents — 76.9% of the population — are fully vaccinated, including 85% of adults.

Fairfax Health District Covid vaccine booster rates by age group, as of July 11, 2022 (via Fairfax County Health Department)

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