Lancaster, Northumberland among counties at ‘high’ community levels for COVID-19 

SALUDA—According to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Three Rivers Health District weekly pandemic update released on Monday, January 9, COVID-19 cases are increasing nationally and in Virginia.

Omicron COVID-19 subvariants continue to be the cause of the current surge across the U.S., reported chief operating officer Brenden Rivenbark.

All Omicron subvariants have mutations in their spike proteins which allow them to evade immunity, including monoclonal antibody therapies. None of them have thus far proven to cause more severe disease. Antiviral therapies such as Paxlovid and Lagevrio remain effective. The best way to protect against the evolving COVID-19 virus remains vaccination, said Rivenbark.

By Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria, and according to the latest available data, Gloucester County is at medium COVID-19 community levels.

All other Three Rivers jurisdictions, Essex, King William, King and Queen, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland counties, are at high community levels.

By the numbers:

• The nation is averaging about 67,000 known COVID-19 cases per day.

• Virginia COVID-19 cases have reportedly increased; latest available VDH data shows the seven-day average is 2,428 cases per day. 

• The Three Rivers case daily average has increased to about 45 cases/day, according to latest available data.

• The seven-day average number of people hospitalized in Virginia with COVID-19 has increased to 1,103.

For localities at high community levels, the CDC recommends:

• Wear a mask indoors in public and on public transportation.

• Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.

• Get tested if symptoms are present.

• Those at high risk for severe illness should consider taking additional precautions.

Visit http://vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-829-4682 to find COVID-19 vaccination opportunities. Appointment opportunities in Three Rivers Health District vaccination clinics are available at the Three Rivers Health District website under “Three Rivers Health District Vaccination Events”: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/three-rivers/. Appointments are also available by calling 815-4191.