RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As coronavirus cases soar to levels not seen in a year, new models predict a surge in cases, hospitalizations and deaths over the next four weeks.
In Virginia, data shows the majority of the state is experiencing a surge in cases, with 21 out of the 35 districts in the ‘red’ zone.
Of the 35, Richmond, Henrico, and Crater Health districts are in surge trajectories. Chesterfield is one of nine districts experiencing “slow growth.”
With that, almost all of the state has high levels of community transmission. According to the Virginia Department of Health, this means everyone, vaccinated or not, should wear a mask in public, indoor spaces.
Health officials say the rise of the highly contagious omicron variant is driving the this surge. The first detected case in Virginia was on Dec 9th. The CDC now says Omicron accounts for 75% of new cases in the state.
The UVA coronavirus model forecasts a quick rise in cases leading to a peak in early February of 2022 that could greatly exceed both last winter’s peak and the recent Delta surge in September of 2021.
Doctors are renewing their urgent push for people to get vaccinated, boosted, and tested.
To find out where you can get a test, click here.