Covid Cases Continue to Tick Up in Arlington

The rate of new coronavirus cases in Arlington hit a fresh summer high today.

New Covid cases remain low relative to earlier in the pandemic, but rose to a seven-day trailing average of nine cases per day today, after 13 new cases were reported.

That’s the highest point since May 13.

Virginia Dept. of Health data also shows the county’s test positivity rate hitting 2% today, for the first time since May 9.

The more contagious Delta variant of the virus is skyrocketing in prevalence in the United States and is even infecting those who were fully vaccinated in some cases. Vaccines still offer protection against infection, however, and serious illness or death is rare among vaccinated individuals who get infected.

At Tuesday’s Arlington County Board meeting, Arlington Public Health Director Dr. Reuben Varghese said that infections, hospitalizations and Covid-related deaths remain relatively low.

From the Sun Gazette:

Despite a recent uptick, “we are still at the lowest level of cases since June 2020,” Dr. Reuben Varghese told County Board members, with weekly reported cases among county residents running at approximately 5 percent of the level recorded at the height of the pandemic. […]

He noted that among the county residents vaccinated who nonetheless ended up with COVID, just three – or 0.07 percent – became so sick they needed hospitalization.

“It happens, but it is extremely rare,” he said.

Varghese also noted that the state health department may be undercounting the number of vaccinated individuals in Arlington.

VDH currently pegs the percentage of the county’s adult population who have received at least one vaccine dose at just under 70%. Varghese said adding in Arlington residents who were vaccinated in D.C. or Maryland could bump that up to around 76%.