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Over Christmas, COVID-19 cases in Fairfax County exceed last winter’s surge

Fairfax County COVID-19 cases over the past 180 days, as of Dec. 27, 2021 (via Virginia Department of Health)

Fairfax County saw more COVID-19 cases over this past holiday weekend than at any other point in the pandemic.

The 1,550 cases reported on Christmas Eve (Friday) represented a new single-day record, surpassing the 1,485 cases that came in on Jan. 17, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

With another 1,441 cases recorded on Christmas Day, the county is now averaging 1,124 cases a day for the past week, even after the daily total dipped to 946 cases yesterday (Sunday) and 883 cases today (Monday). Last winter, the weekly average peaked in mid-January at 697 cases.

Fairfax County Health Department spokesperson Lucy Caldwell notes that the fluctuating case numbers may be a product of data reporting backlogs due to the holidays.

“There may be a lag of 2-3 days,” she told FFXnow by email. “Often, we see that the reported case numbers are lower on Mondays or after a holiday as employees may not be working to process the information/data on Sundays or major holidays.”

The Fairfax Health District, including the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, has seen a total of 110,416 COVID-19 cases, 4,260 hospitalizations, and 1,244 deaths, six of them occurring in the past week.

All Fairfax County COVID-19 cases, as of Dec. 27, 2021 (via Virginia Department of Health)

On a more hopeful note, the recent surge in infections has not been accompanied by an equivalent rise in hospitalizations and deaths, supporting ongoing research that suggests the omicron variant is extremely transmissible but less likely to lead to severe illness than its delta predecessor, especially for people who are vaccinated and boosted.

In addition, the variant has started to subside as quickly as it emerged in South Africa, where it was first identified in late November. Even if it follows the same trajectory in the U.S., though, the consequences of the current COVID-19 wave could still be devastating, with many hospitals already overwhelmed.

Fairfax County continues to outpace Virginia and the U.S. when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations, according to VDH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data:

At Least One Dose

  • Fairfax County: 82% of the population (941,383 people), including 92.3% of individuals 18 and older
  • Virginia: 76.9% of the population (6.56 million people), including 88.3% of adults
  • U.S.: 72.7% of the population (241 million people), including 84.9% of adults

Fully Vaccinated

  • Fairfax: 72.8% of the population (835,706 residents), including 82.7% of adults
  • Virginia: 67.4% (5.7 million people), including 77.9% of adults
  • U.S.: 61.7% (204.7 million people), including 72.6% of adults

28.1% of Fairfax County residents, amounting to 322,733 people, have received a third or booster shot, including 36.2% of adults.

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