COVID-19 hospitalizations rising as delta variant surges

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 3:10 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - COVID-19 cases in Virginia have quadrupled over the past month, thanks in part to the delta variant. This combined with decreasing vaccination trends have officials worried.

Hospitalization rates are on the rise, and while death rates have not spiked, that could change.

“Over the past several weeks, fortunately in Virginia, the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 have not seen a large spike, but that does tend to be a lagging indicator,” UVA infectious disease expert Dr. Patrick Jackson said.

New vaccinations are falling, and that has an impact.

“In Virginia, the vast majority of folks who are hospitalized for COVID-19 and vast majority folks who are dying from COVID-19 are unvaccinated,” Jackson said.

Jackson says that while this area has seen good levels of vaccination, there is room for improvement.

“I’m hopeful that as people kind of get more of this message about the Delta variant and understand what this pandemic is going to look like moving forward that more people will choose to become vaccinated,” Jackson said.

Jackson says vaccination is the critical strategy for dealing with COVID-19 in the long run.

“It is evolving to become more transmissible between people, and unfortunately it’s unlikely this virus ever completely goes away,” Jackson said. “I think it’s something we’re going to live with and so vaccination is going to remain a long term sort of strategy for controlling COVID-19.”

Data from the Virginia Department of Health shows that Albemarle County had 12 new cases on July 20, the highest number in the last month.

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