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JUST IN: Daily Covid cases drop below 100 for first time in nearly two months

Covid cases in Arlington as of 2/10/22 (via Virginia Dept. of Health)

For the first time since mid-December, the past week has averaged fewer that 100 new, reported Covid cases per day in Arlington.

The seven-day moving average fell below the three-digit mark today and currently stands at 97. Four of the past five days have seen fewer than 75 cases reported in the county, according to the Virginia Dept. of Health.

Those numbers are high relative to most other points during the pandemic, but the trend remains down, even if the rate of reduction has slowed.

Covid hospitalizations in the county, meanwhile, are averaging just over one every two days. No new Covid-related deaths have been reported this week, though last week saw a spike of 11 reported deaths, according to VDH data.

Arlington’s test positivity rate has continued its steep drop and is now 6.2%, after peaking at just under 30% to start the year.

Arlington Public Schools has similarly seen a big decline in cases among students, though numbers remain elevated. According to the school system’s Covid dashboard, there have been 130 student cases over the past seven days, compared to 164 during the prior seven-day period. One month ago, ARLnow reported 864 student cases over a seven day period. A month before that, at the start of the Omicron-variant-fueled wave, there were just 56 positive student cases reported over the same length of time.

In an email to families yesterday, Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán said the school system’s new “test-to-stay” program will start on Monday. APS, which has fought in court to keep its mask mandate in place, is also getting a new testing vendor.

New Vendor for Weekly In-School COVID Testing: Over the past several weeks, APS has been working with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to address challenges with our current testing vendor, CIAN Diagnostics. VDH has advised that the best course of action for APS is to transition to a new VDH-approved provider, Aegis Solutions. Aegis will begin providing the weekly in-school COVID testing on Mon, Feb. 14. Families currently opted in with CIAN will receive an email with a link to update their consent later today with Aegis Solutions. While this is an inconvenience, it’s a necessary change to sustain the weekly screening as a preventative measure.

Test-to-Stay Program Starts on Monday: Reminder that free, proctored testing for eligible students identified as close contacts will be provided at Syphax on school days, starting Monday from 2:30-7 p.m. The VDH Test-to-Stay program helps keep students who are not up-to-date on their COVID vaccinations in school if they are identified as close contacts, as long as they are asymptomatic and test negative for five days following the exposure. Close contacts exposed on or after Mon, Feb. 14, 2022, will be eligible for the test-to-stay program; students exposed prior to that date are not eligible and should complete their 5-day quarantine. As a reminder, students who are up-to-date on their vaccinations are exempt from quarantine if they have no symptoms and wear a mask consistently. Guidance is available online.

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