JUST IN: Rate of New Local Coronavirus Cases Reaches Fresh Five-Month High

The average rate of new coronavirus cases in Arlington is the highest it’s been in nearly five months.

Overnight 39 new cases were reported in the county, bringing the seven-day trailing total to 198. The last time the number was that high was June 2, as the county’s spring epidemic was petering out. The seven-day peak was 316 cases on May 3.

The cumulative total of cases in the county now stands at 4,686, according to the Virginia Dept. of Health.

Arlington’s test positivity rate is now 3.8%, up from 3.2% on Oct. 1, despite the number of PCR-based testing encounters increasing over the month of October. There were an average of 482 daily testing encounters on Oct. 1, compared to about 550 now.

Hospitalizations and deaths have continued to stay relatively low in Arlington. Four COVID-related deaths have been reported in October, compared to 10 in September. The current seven-day total of new reported hospitalizations stands at 10, down from 16 two days ago.

The rate of new cases statewide, meanwhile, has been increasing. The current seven-day trailing average of new daily cases in Virginia is 1,194, just four shy from the previous peak in August and one shy from the spring peak in May.

Northern Virginia topped 300 new COVID cases for the third straight day yesterday, while the U.S. recorded more than 90,000 cases, a single-day record for the country.

According to the Washington Post’s pandemic tracker, new cases, hospitalizations and deaths nationwide have risen 21.3%, 12.8% and 2.2%, respectively, over the past week.

Health experts say they’re concerned about the pandemic getting worse as the weather gets colder, perhaps mirroring the increasingly dire situation in Europe.