Press Club

Arlington Is Seeing ‘Substantial’ Community Transmission of Virus, CDC Says

Arlington County has reached a “substantial” amount of community transmission, according to the CDC, amid a national “surge” in Covid cases.

As the highly contagious delta variant of the virus spreads and sets new records, Arlington is not being spared. But the county is still well below this past winter’s high water marks in terms of cases and hospitalizations.

As of this morning, the Virginia Dept. of Health reported a seven-day moving average of 25 new cases per day in Arlington, the highest point since mid-April. On Friday alone 37 new cases were reported, the highest one-day total in more than three months.

The county’s test positivity rate, now 2.7%, has also hit a three-month high.

As of Friday, the cumulative number of Covid-related hospitalizations in Arlington during the pandemic reached 873, up four in two weeks. No new deaths were reported during that time period.

Even in the instance of “breakthrough” infections among those who were previously fully vaccinated, experts say COVID-19 vaccines are providing effective protection against serious complications from the virus.

More than 70% of adults in Arlington have received at least one vaccine dose, while nearly 64% are fully vaccinated, according to VDH data.

In an email on Friday, Arlington’s public health division said those who are not yet fully vaccinated are “strongly” encouraged to do so. The county health department is also urging residents to avoid indoor gatherings and to wear a mask in public. So far, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has not instituted a new mask mandate.

Following an increasing trend of COVID-19 cases in the community, Arlington County is experiencing substantial community transmission of COVID-19, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All jurisdictions immediately surrounding Arlington are also experiencing either moderate or substantial community COVID-19 transmission.

To reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the County recommends following updated guidance from CDC, which advises the general public to wear a mask in public indoor settings with people outside of your home bubble, in areas with either substantial or high transmission.

“In addition to masking per CDC guidance, we strongly encourage our residents who are not vaccinated to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Reuben Varghese, Arlington County Health Director.  “Vaccination is the most important public health action to end the COVID-19 pandemic and keep our community open. Getting fully vaccinated significantly reduces the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death, even with the Delta variant.”

The Arlington County Public Health Division also reminds residents that using multiple layers of protection is an effective and commonsense way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread in our community. Layered actions you can take include:

  • Choosing outdoor gatherings over indoor gatherings
  • Getting tested when symptomatic and staying at home
  • Wearing a mask and physically distancing
  • Washing hands often
  • Getting a COVID-19 vaccine
  • COVID-19 testing and vaccines are offered at no cost at locations throughout the County.

Find a vaccine site near you at vaccines.gov.

Visit arlingtonva.us/covid-19 or call 703-228-7999 for additional information.

President Biden, meanwhile, said this morning that the U.S. is “prepared to deal with the surge in COVID-19 cases like never before.”

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