Fairfax County Surpasses Spring COVID-19 Peak over Thanksgiving Weekend

COVID-19 is now more widespread in Fairfax County than it was when the pandemic’s first wave hit in the spring.

Reporting 262 new cases just today (Monday), the Fairfax Health District has recorded a total of 31,388 COVID-19 cases since the novel coronavirus first arrived in March. 2,561 people have been hospitalized, and 638 people have died from the disease.

Fairfax County officially surpassed the spring peak on Nov. 24 when it reported 308.3 cases on average over the previous seven days. The highest seven-day average recorded in the spring was 303 cases on May 31.

The weekly average caseload then hit an all-time high of 352.3 cases on Sunday (Nov. 29) before dipping down to a seven-day average of 324.9 cases today, according to Virginia Department of Health data.

Fairfax County also recorded its highest single-day case count of the pandemic this past weekend when it saw 496 new cases on Nov. 28. The previous record was 493 cases on May 25.

However, Fairfax County’s hospitalization and death rates remain well below where they were in the spring.

Currently, Fairfax County is averaging 7.86 hospitalizations over the past seven days, compared to the peak of 35.57 hospitalizations over seven days recorded on May 4. The county is seeing a seven-day average of 1.29 deaths right now, but the seven-day average was 14 deaths on May 4 after there was a single-day record of 31 deaths on May 3.

The surge in COVID-19 cases that Fairfax County is witnessing right now falls in line with the overall trend for Northern Virginia as a region, which recorded its highest seven-day moving average of 815.7 cases on Nov. 29.

By comparison, the pandemic’s spring surge peaked at a seven-day regional moving average of 685.3 cases on May 31.

The continued upward trajectory of COVID-19’s spread in Fairfax County comes after health officials warned that the traveling, intimate family gatherings, and in-person holiday shopping typically associated with Thanksgiving weekend could exacerbate the pandemic.

Given the lag time between when someone is exposed to the coronavirus and when a new case is actually reported, Fairfax County’s current COVID-19 data suggests the worst may still be on the horizon.

Images via CDC on Unsplash; graphs via Virginia Department of Health, Fairfax County Health Department 

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