Press Club

Coronavirus Cases Steady, Full Vaccination Rate Speeds Up

Arlington’s rate of new coronavirus cases is continuing to hold relatively steady, as vaccinations continue as an accelerated clip.

The trailing seven-day total of new reported cases in the county has not been above 300 since Feb. 17. It also has not dropped below 199. As of today, it stands at 243 weekly cases.

Arlingtonians are continuing to get very sick as a result of the virus. Eight new COVID-related hospitalizations have been reported over the past week. No new deaths have been reported over the past six days, however.

Amid a backdrop of continued infection, vaccinations in Arlington are proceeding relatively quickly.

Nearly 10,000 new vaccination doses have been administered since Friday. With more vaccine supply from the state, Arlington is administering an average of more than 2,500 doses per day, as it tries to complete its Phase 1B and 1C vaccinations before appointments are opened to the general public next week.

After trailing neighboring Alexandria on vaccination stats for most of the year, Arlington is now ahead of the city to our south in terms of percentage of the population that has received at least one vaccine shot: 34.2% for Arlington compared to 32.6% for Alexandria. But Alexandria still has a higher full vaccination rate and just today announced that it is opening vaccinations to all residents ages 16+.

Still, the number of people fully vaccinated in Arlington has risen dramatically over the past couple of weeks.

A total of 41,573 people have been fully vaccinated — with one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines — in the county, according to Virginia Dept. of Health data.

At the rate of new reported full vaccinations over the past week, it would take just over four months to fully vaccinate the remainder of Arlington’s adult population.

Of course, while Arlington has one of the highest rates of vaccine interest in the nation — 92% according to one study — there are still residents who may be reluctant to get the jab. To help increase vaccination rates, Arlington County Board and School Board members, as well as other local officials and hundreds of volunteers, canvassed the county on Saturday.

“Core members of the [Arlington Complete Vaccination Committee], along with over 250 volunteers, will be canvassing the County to share information with as many people as possible, utilizing yard signs, local businesses, door hangers and more,” the county said in a media advisory before the Saturday “day of action.”

“The Arlington County Public Health Division encourages all Arlington County residents 16 years old and older to pre-register now for the COVID-19 vaccine in preparation for Phase 2 of Virginia’s vaccination plan,” the county said.

Photo (top) by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Carlos M. Vazquez II

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