VIRGINIA — A record number of coronavirus cases were confirmed Saturday in Virginia, the third time the record has been shattered in a week, as vaccinations are set to be expanded to a larger segment of the population the week of Jan. 11.
The Virginia Department of Health reported a record 5,798 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, almost 400 more than the earlier record set Wednesday, according to Inside Nova. That followed 5,328 cases on Friday, and the state's seven-day average stands at a new high of 4,994.
The seven-day positivity rate for the virus is 16.8 percent as of Sunday.
A total of 398,856 coronavirus cases have been reported in the state; 19,095 hospitalizations have been recorded as of Sunday. To date, a total of 5,383 deaths have been caused by COVID-19.
On Jan. 11, select health districts in Virginia will be allowed to begin the next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations, called phase 1b. This phase includes people aged 75 and older, people living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters and migrant labor camps, and front-line essential workers who are "essential to the functioning of society, are at substantially higher risk of exposure to SARSCoV-2, and cannot work remotely," state health officials said.
Included in the 1B group are police, fire and hazmat; corrections and homeless shelter workers; child care, K-12 teachers and staff; food and agriculture, manufacturing; grocery store workers; public transit workers; and USPS and private mail carriers.
These health districts will be allowed to start phase 1B on Monday: Alexandria, Arlington, Cumberland Plateau, Fairfax, Lenowisco, Lord Fairfax, Loudoun, Mount Rogers, New River, Prince William, and Roanoke County/Allegheny. The Fairfax Health District includes the cities of Falls Church and Fairfax, while the Prince William Health District includes the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.
Residents should check to see when Phase 1b begins in their community on the VDH COVID-19 Vaccine webpage.
As of Sunday, 177,945 vaccine doses have been administered in Virginia, according to the Virginia Department of Health. To date, 510,800 total doses have been distributed in Virginia.
According to the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, 3,060 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Sunday. A total of 553 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care units around the state; 348 patients are on a ventilator. To date 31,182 confirmed COVID cases have been treated and discharged from the state's hospitals.
Ventilator use among all hospital patients is at 35 percent capacity, with 1,008 of the 2,910 available in use. ICU occupancy is at 82 percent.
Death data is available as both the date of report and by date of death and are updated as amendments to the death records as they are received by VDH.
Below are the latest coronavirus data updates for our coverage area on Sunday:
Alexandria: 8,087 cases, 454 hospitalizations, 91 deaths
Arlington County: 9,997 cases, 671 hospitalizations, 185 deaths
Fairfax County: 49,099 cases, 3,068 hospitalizations, 707 deaths
Fairfax City: 327 cases, 25 hospitalizations, 10 deaths
Falls Church: 208 cases, 18 hospitalizations, six deaths
Loudoun County: 15,368 cases, 668 hospitalizations, 164 deaths
Manassas: 3,105 cases, 148 hospitalizations, 29 deaths
Manassas Park: 986 cases, 65 hospitalizations, eight deaths
Prince William County: 28,271 cases, 1,256 hospitalizations, 264 deaths
Fredericksburg: 1,154 cases, 67 hospitalizations, 11 deaths
Spotsylvania County: 5,408 cases, 222 hospitalizations, 71 deaths
Stafford County: 5,972 cases, 240 hospitalizations, 29 deaths
All of Virginia has been in phase 1a of vaccinations since Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines started to be distributed in December. This phase includes vaccinating health-care workers and long-term care facility residents and staff. Hospitals gained access to vaccine doses for their staff, while health departments were tasked with giving doses to health care workers not affiliated with hospital systems.
There is a separate federal program for vaccinations at participating long-term care facilities in partnership with CVS and Walgreens. Those vaccinations got underway in Virginia during the week of Dec. 28.
VDH estimates it will take weeks to months to vaccine Virginians in phase 1b, with an estimated 1.2 eligible Virginians. The federal government allocates around 110,000 doses of vaccine to Virginia each week. That supply could increase gradually over the next few months depending on manufacturer capabilities.