Data model predict COVID-19 cases to decrease in Virginia

VDH Modeling Trends
Published: Feb. 1, 2022 at 9:07 AM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - One data model is predicting the commonwealth will see a steep decline in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks, but the Virginia Department of Health says that doesn’t mean we should loosen restrictions.

“People start hearing about cases declining, they start relaxing a little bit, doing a little bit more, and sometimes it’s a little too early. So we start hearing about cases declining, but cases may still be high in their community. So it’s just important to keep those prevention measures up,” Justin Crow said.

VDH defines those prevention measures as masking, distancing, and getting vaccinated.

“People do need to take some responsibility and try and avoid infecting other people,” Bryan Lewis with the University of Virginia Biocomplexity Institute said.

VDH and the UVA Biocomplexity Institute both suggest we may have just passed the peak of the omicron variant. This is based on past models that have been accurate on predicting trends, but not exact numbers.

“There’s so many infections out there, we can’t even capture them all. Basically, have one-in-three people showing up are testing positive,” Lewis said. “There’s probably a whole lot more infections out there that we aren’t even counting.”

He says that’s because some new research suggests you may be able to get the omicron variant more than once: “You might have the opportunity to pass that infection on to others who might be more vulnerable. And so that’s still a sign that even though we are in the decline, some caution still needs to be exercised,” Lewis said.

“The data is early that reinfections are a little bit higher with omicron, but we’ll have to keep an eye on that,” Crow said.

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