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Arlington sees slight bump in Covid cases as Thanksgiving nears

Covid cases in Arlington as of 11/23/21 (via Virginia Dept. of Health)

The average rate of new daily Covid cases in Arlington has risen more than 50% between early November and now, two days before Thanksgiving.

As locals prepare for feasts and family gatherings, Covid has rebounded from its seasonal low of about 20 cases per day earlier this month. The seven-day moving average now stands at 32 cases per day, though that is still well below Arlington’s Delta wave peak of 48 cases per day, reached in mid-September.

The bump in cases — Arlington currently has “substantial” community transmission of the virus, according to the Virginia Dept. of Health — is nonetheless a reminder that Covid is still spreading, after a relatively quiet first half of the summer that was set against the backdrop of a steep rise in vaccinations.

With 81.5% of the population having received at least one dose, the county is now focused on booster shots for adults and recently-authorized vaccine shots for younger children.

The relatively high vaccination rate has helped to tamp down severe illness in Arlington.

So far this month in Arlington there have been 615 new cases, but only 12 Covid-related hospitalizations and four deaths have been reported, according to VDH data.

Local, state and federal authorities are urging anyone gathering for the upcoming holidays to take health precautions.

“Public Health leaders in the Northern Virginia region — including Arlington County — are encouraging residents to maintain their vigilance in preventing the spread of COVID-19 this fall and winter and throughout the holiday season,” Arlington County said in an email last night. “Getting vaccinated, washing your hands, and taking travel precautions are just a few of the ways to enjoy a safe and healthy Thanksgiving.”

“Although Northern Virginia localities have some of the highest vaccination rates in the state — 73% of Arlington’s adult population is fully vaccinated — there is still Substantial Community Transmission in Arlington,” the county’s email added. “We must remain vigilant to protect those who are not eligible for vaccination and those at higher risk for serious illness.”

Thanksgiving health “recipe” (via Arlington County)

Nationally, about two-thirds of Americans plan to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends or family outside of their immediate households, according to a recent Axios poll.

The poll also found that Americans are less worried about the health impacts of such gatherings.

“This year, 31% see a large or moderate risk in seeing friends or family for Thanksgiving — way down from 64% a year ago,” Axios reported.

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