Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the Delta variant of Covid-19 now accounts for over half of new positive cases of the virus in the U.S. The variant, first detected in India, is highly transmissible, but it is not believed to be more lethal than previous variants.

Virginia has followed suit with the rest of the nation, showing a slight rise in cases over the last week. On Thursday, the Virginia Department of Health reported 291 new positive cases of the virus. This figure is the highest single day total of new cases since May 29, when 322 cases were reported.

Vaccination rates in the commonwealth continue to move forward at a slower pace. In Virginia, 58.1% of the population has received at least one dose of their vaccine, while 51.7% of the total population – over 4.4 million individuals – has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Virginia reached President Biden’s vaccine milestone early, with over 70% of the adult population receiving at least one dose of the vaccine before July 4.

Vaccinations in Emporia-Greensville are another story, however. Both localities have followed the trend of many rural communities across the U.S., with vaccination rates falling behind and even stalling in some places.

As of Friday, Greensville County reported 3,762 individuals fully vaccinated against Covid-19. That figure represents only 33.2% of the total population. The County reports that 38.8% of residents had received at least one dose of their vaccine.

The City of Emporia has 1,817 fully vaccinated residents, or 34% of the total population. In Emporia, 39.2% of the population has received at least one dose of their vaccine.

Health officials continue their struggle to get new individuals vaccinated as figures across the country slowly grind to a stop. The percentage gap between first dose and fully vaccinated individuals is shrinking week after week. Inevitably, many communities will not reach what health officials have determined to be “safe” vaccination rates.