The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported 445 new positive cases of COVID-19 Friday, marking the third day in a row the state’s daily case total climbed over 400.
July 13 marked the first time Virginia had exceeded 300 new cases since May 29.
The surge in cases comes as the Delta variant of COVID-19, also known as B.1.617.2, rapidly spreads through communities across the U.S., particularly those in which vaccination rates are lowest. Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that 99.2% of deaths from COVID-19 in the month of May were unvaccinated individuals.
“This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” said U.S. CDC Dr. Rochelle Walensky Friday. “We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk… communities that are fully vaccinated are generally faring well.”
“Our biggest concern is that we are going to see preventable cases, hospitalizations and, sadly, deaths among the unvaccinated,” she added.
Vaccination rates in Emporia-Greensville have all but stalled. In the last week, the vaccination rate for Greensville County only rose from 33.2% to 33.9% of the total population. Even more alarming, the County recorded no increase whatsoever in the number of individuals who have received at least one dose of their vaccine.
The same troubling data can be found in the City of Emporia. The fully vaccinated percentage only rose from 34.0% to 34.9% in the last week, while the percentage of people with one dose remained constant at 39.2%.
In total, 52,9% of the Virginia population has been fully vaccinated, with 58.8% of the population having received at least one dose.
Walensky said those who have been fully vaccinated do not need to be as worried about the Delta variant.
“The good news is that if you are fully vaccinated, you are protected against severe Covid, hospitalization and death,” she said, “and are even protected against the know variants, including the Delta variant. If you are not vaccinated, you remain at risk.”