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Covid continues to rise in Arlington, with nearly 200 new cases reported today

Covid cases in Arlington on 5/4/22 (via Virginia Dept. of Health)

Covid levels are still steadily rising in Arlington.

While hospitalization levels remain low, the county is seeing continued spread of the virus. Today alone, 193 new cases were reported in Arlington — the highest one-day total since Jan. 29, according to Virginia Dept. of Health data.

The seven-day moving average of daily cases is now 127, the highest point since early February, when the county was on the downswing from the larger Omicron-variant-fueled wave.

Wider view of Covid cases in Arlington as of 5/4/22 (via Virginia Dept. of Health)

Because of the ongoing spread, Arlington remains in the CDC’s “medium” Covid level, despite only recording 2.7 weekly Covid-related hospital admission per 100,000 residents.

Arlington’s test positivity rate, meanwhile, has bounced around a bit over the past couple of weeks, and currently stands at 11.2%

Covid test positivity rate in Arlington on 5/4/22 (via Virginia Dept. of Health)

Among the places seeing rising levels of virus are Arlington schools.

Arlington Public Schools today reported 261 student cases over the past seven days, compared to 224 cases during the prior seven day period. Despite their smaller size compared to secondary schools, a trio of North Arlington elementary schools have the highest level of cases over the past week: Jamestown (22 cases), Glebe (24 cases) and Cardinal (30 cases).

While the exact impact is unknown, the recent gathering of more than 2,500 people for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in D.C. may be playing at least a minor role in rising cases in Arlington, which is home to a number of notable media figures.

“In the days since WHCD weekend, reporters and staffers from CNN, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, Politico, and other participating news organizations have tested positive for the virus,” CNN reported this morning. Politico is based in Rosslyn.

The spread is happening despite a high rate of vaccination in Arlington — 96.4% of the county’s adult population has received at least one vaccine done, while 87.2% are highly vaccinated. Reports suggest that a number of new variants that evade even natural immunity from recent Omicron variant infections are currently circulating in the U.S.

In her email newsletter to constituents Friday night, County Board member Libby Garvey noted that “Two of my fully vaccinated colleagues have recently tested positive for Covid.”

Covid is still among us and increasing with the new variant. I try to go about my work and life almost as before, but wear a mask when inside with large numbers of people and I’ve had two boosters. Even when you are careful, it is quite easy to get the new Covid variant. Two of my fully vaccinated colleagues have recently tested positive for Covid. So far no one has gotten terribly sick. I encourage my readers to be vaccinated, boosted if appropriate, and wear a mask when appropriate to protect yourself and others, but not to worry too much. While the situation continues to be difficult for immuno-compromised people, if you are basically healthy and fully vaccinated, it is unlikely you will get very sick should you contract the virus.

Garvey added that two county-run clinics are still open for vaccine and booster shots.

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The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.

The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.

Former participants have this to say:

_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._

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