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JUST IN: Coronavirus Cases Hit Lowest Point Since Start of Pandemic

(Updated at 11:15 a.m.) The rate of new coronavirus cases in Arlington has hit another low — the lowest point, in fact, since around the start of the pandemic.

As of Sunday, the trailing seven-day rate of new cases was 38, according to Virginia Dept. of Health data. The last time the one-week total of COVID-19 cases in Arlington was that low was March 26, 2020, when tests were hard to come by and cases were almost certainly being undercounted.

Six additional cases were reported Monday morning, bringing the seven-day rate up slightly to 41. It was the eighth straight day of single-digit case counts, a streak also not seen since the outset of the pandemic.

The most recent Covid-related death in the county was reported last Wednesday. Despite the collapsing case counts, hospitalizations remain at a rate above last summer’s lull: nine hospitalizations over the past week.

Following updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, Virginia on Saturday dropped its mask mandate for those who are fully vaccinated.

CVS, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, Costco and Target are among the national chains to make masks optional for vaccinated customers.

Some local businesses are also updating their mask policy. Bearded Goat Barber, for instance, this morning announced that masks are optional for vaccinated customers and employees, though customers can ask for their barbers to wear masks. The Ballston barber shop also announced that it will be resuming beard trims.

While the new mask guidance has received pushback from some healthcare professionals, who say it was issued too early and will endanger lives, others say it reflects the reality of falling case rates and the science behind vaccines preventing transmission of the disease.

Arlington’s rate of administering vaccine doses, meanwhile, has been falling. As of this morning a total of nearly 205,000 Covid vaccine doses have been administered, bringing the seven-day trailing average to around 1,600 doses per day, less than half the peak rate from April. A total of around 124,000 Arlingtonians have received at least one vaccine shot and 93,000 have been fully vaccinated, according to VDH data, which excludes those who were vaccinated by the Dept. of Defense and other federal agencies.

Those 12 years old and up are eligible to receive free vaccine shots at county-run clinics, which are accepting both walk-in patients and appointments.

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