BRHD: Lowest rates of new COVID-19 infections since beginning of the pandemic

BRHD: Lowest rates of new COVID-19 infections since beginning of the pandemic

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The coronavirus positivity rate in the Blue Ridge Health District (BRHD) has been dipping just under 3%. A doctor with UVA Health says this is a big milestone as we get closer to herd immunity.

“It being under 3% of tests coming back positive tells you that this isn’t an artifact or an error from not having adequate testing,” Dr. William Petri said. “Falling below 3% is really quite a record and an indication that the drop is real.”

Petri says the COVID-19 vaccines are working.

“This is like the best vaccine we’ve ever had against anything. More than 90% effective, and we’re seeing that impact, and so nationally we’ve gone from 250,000 cases a day in January to 25,000 cases, yesterday in the U.S. So a 90% reduction. We attribute most of that to the vaccine,” Petri said.

May 24, Virginia reported 76 COVID-19 cases from Sunday. That number has increased on Tuesday, May 25, to 654.

“Part of it is a weekend sort of thing, and so like usually Monday or Tuesday it’s a little bit ragged because the data is still getting reported into the state from the regional health district,” Petri said. “As you get to fewer and fewer cases there’s going to be more fluctuations just because there are fewer cases being reported.”

There are two major factors causing this decline in cases: vaccinations and the warm weather.

“We have these more transmissible variants now that are the majority of these COVID cases in Virginia, most of them are the U.K. variant or the South African variant, much more transmissible. The fact that cases are still going down is showing you how well the vaccine is working,” Petri said.

In a statement to NBC29, the BRHD says, “While new cases are still occurring, BRHD is seeing its lowest rates of new COVID-19 infections since the beginning of the pandemic. This is as a direct result of the number of individuals who have been vaccinated in our community.”

Copyright 2021 WVIR. All rights reserved.