RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Over the course of the pandemic, Virginia has had an estimated total of 1.7 million cases and over 20,000 deaths.
But unlike the years before it, 2022 brought with it some hope. The omicron spike hit during January but Virginia recovered over February with cases hitting record lows in March.
However, VDH data could be pointing towards another spike on the horizon. At the beginning of April, Virginia COVID-19 cases were at a record low; with less than 700 cases in the 7-day average on April 1.
Over the course of April, COVID-19 cases rose to the highest they have been since February. Virginia’s 7-day average as of today is 2,264 cases; over a 300% increase from the beginning of the month. And that number is increasing every day.
Data from localities in the greater Richmond area are telling similar stories.
Following the January spike, Chesterfield cases fluctuated at a steady rate — going as low as 29.3 cases in its 7-day average. However, cases began to steadily increase on April 12 and as of today are sitting at 126.4; over a 400% increase.
The increase in Henrico cases is more troubling. Cases started increasing earlier than in most other districts in Virginia — starting in early April. The 7-day average of cases has jumped from 26 at the beginning of the month to 142.1 cases today; over a 500% increase.
In spite of these increases in the surrounding counties, Richmond is perhaps only in the early stages of a spike. Similar to Henrico, the district experienced a bump in cases in the first half of April but mostly recovered. However, cases are climbing once again. The 7-day average today was 60.3 cases, up from the low 20s at the beginning of the month; about a 300% increase.
The increase in COVID cases across Central Virginia is not entirely surprising; last week, 8News reported on the possibility of new variants such as the omicron subvariant, BA.2, making predictions difficult.
At this point and time officials seem reluctant to reintroduce safety measures to prevent further spread of the virus; Virginia’s new health commissioner said in April that he doesn’t envision indoor mask mandates returning anytime soon, for example.
The high vaccination rates for Virginia remain the silver lining in this data; the Commonwealth holds one of the highest rates in the entire country with 73.4% of the state reportedly fully vaccinated. By comparison, the national vaccination rate is 66.3% as of today.