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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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Elementary-school-aged children will soon be able to get the Covid vaccine from Arlington County.

The county’s public health division says it will start offering free jabs to 5-11 year-old children on Saturday. That follows the FDA’s emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for the age group last week.

The shots will be offered by appointment only and supply may be limited early on. According to the county, about 13,000 children ages 5-11 live in Arlington.

The county started offering free vaccine shots to children ages 12-15 in May, after FDA authorization for that age group.

County Board member Katie Cristol called the availability of the vaccine for local 5-11 year-olds good news on social media this afternoon, after it was announced by the county.

Arlington Public Schools has reported 15 positive Covid cases among students over the past seven days, all but one in elementary schools.

Overall, Covid cases have been slowly trending down in Arlington over the past month and a half. Currently about 21 cases per day are being reported in the county, on average, according to Virginia Dept. of Health data.

More on the new vaccine offering, from an Arlington County press release:

On Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021 Arlington County Public Health will begin offering free COVID-19 vaccines by appointment to children ages 5-11 years old at Walter Reed Community Center and Arlington Mill Community Center. Clinics designated specifically for this age group will be held Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 13 and 14, 2021, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

This follows the expansion of Pfizer’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to children in this age group, and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

“The Pfizer vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 in children. This approval is a critical step towards protecting our kids and keeping other vulnerable community members safe. We encourage all parents to get their children vaccinated when they become eligible,” said Dr. Reuben Varghese, Arlington County Public Health Director.

Find a Vaccine for Your Child

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 5-11-year-olds will be available at Arlington County Public Health Division clinics and pharmacies, searchable through Vaccines.gov. Your child’s pediatrician may also offer the vaccine.

In the early weeks of distribution, vaccine supply may be limited. As supplies increase, so too will appointment availability.

Arlington County Public Health Division Clinics

Arlington County’s Public Health Division (ACPHD) will be offering COVID-19 vaccine by appointment only at Walter Reed Community Center and Arlington Mill Community Center. Walk-ins will not be accepted. Please note: Children ages 17 and younger must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to receive their free COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Sat. Nov. 6 and Sun. Nov. 7 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • Mon. Nov. 8 – Fri. Nov. 12 (2 p.m.-7 p.m.)
  • Sat. Nov. 13 and Sun. Nov. 14 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) Note: These clinics are exclusively for 5-11-year-olds; Vaccine for people ages 12+ will not be offered

Appointments for ACPHD clinics can be made online though the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) — select the option labeled “Schedule a pediatric COVID-19 vaccine appointment (age 5-11).”

Second dose appointments will be scheduled at the time of the first dose. If you need ADA accommodations or require assistance scheduling your appointment with Arlington County Public Health, call 703-228-7999.

Vaccines.gov

  • Schedule an appointmentNOTE: Vaccines.gov is in the process of being updated to include an option for Pfizer (ages 5-11).
  • Text your ZIP code to 438829 (GETVAX) or to 822862 (VACUNA) to find nearby vaccine locations.

Pediatricians

  • Contact your child’s pediatrician to ask if they are offering the vaccine to patients.

Approximately 13,000 children ages 5-11 live in Arlington. Arlington County encourages everyone 5 and older to get a COVID-19 vaccine. For more information, visit the County’s COVID-19 website. Also check out vaccine FAQs.

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Arlington Covid cases as of Oct. 26, 2021 (via Virginia Dept. of Health)

Arlington County is now offering booster shots of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

The county’s public health division, which was already offering Pfizer booster shots, made the announcement yesterday (Tuesday). The booster shots are available for adults who received their last jab more than six months ago and who are older than 65, in long-term care settings, have underlying medical conditions, or who work certain high-risk jobs.

The announcement comes as the average rate of new Covid cases in the county has dropped below 25 per day for the first time since early August, down from a peak of about 48 daily cases.

The downward trajectory of cases in Arlington following the delta variant wave has been slow and uneven compared to that of Virginia as a whole, which has an average daily case rate — 1,500 cases per day — well below half of the state’s delta peak.

Virginia Covid cases as of Oct. 26, 2021 (via Virginia Dept. of Health)

The rate of serious illness and death from the coronavirus in Arlington, meanwhile, remains relatively low. Twenty Covid-related hospitalizations and six deaths have been reported in the county since the start of October, according to Virginia Dept. of Health data.

The full county press release about the vaccine booster shots is below.

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Ajia Minnis, Owner and Founder of Thrive Hair Bar at 1010 N. Glebe Road (Photo courtesy of Thrive Hair Bar)

Thrive Hair Bar in Ballston is hosting a free COVID-19 vaccine clinic this Saturday (Oct 23).

The clinic is in partnership with the Arlington County Public Health Division and part of the “Shots at the Shop” initiative, a White-House-backed effort to recruit Black-owned barbershops and salons to help increase COVID-19 vaccination rates in the community.

The program trains barbers and stylists to dispel myths and misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines, as well as provides a $1,000 grant courtesy of beauty care brand SheaMoisture.

“We saw the lagging COVID-19 vaccination rates in Black, Latinx, and other minority communities,” Thrive Hair Bar owner and founder Ajia Minnis told ARLnow via email about why they’re hosting the clinic. “Given the majority of our clients come from these communities we thought we might be well positioned to help dispel myths, help people feel more comfortable, and get more folks vaccinated.”

The clinic is from 10 a.m. to noon and is open to everyone 12 years old and older, in accordance with current guidelines. Only the Pfizer vaccine will be given. No appointments are needed and walk-ins are welcome.

Minnis says that they actually reached out to the county about holding the clinic after attending a course at the University of Maryland Center for Health Equity. It was there that she learned about the role salons have historically played in their communities in increasing awareness of health issues.

“As a community we need to serve each other and this is our small way of giving back to those who give so much to us,” says Minnis. “We want to not just be good neighbors but we want to also be valuable assets to the communities we love and serve.”

Fifty-nine percent of Black residents in Arlington that are eligible are fully vaccinated, according to Virginia Department of Health data. That’s comparable to the white population in Arlington, but both are lower than the Latino and Asian/Pacific Islander populations in the county.

Covid cases in Arlington have fluctuated over the past month but are currently down to just above 25 cases per day, on average, according to Virginia Dept. of Health data.

There remains a worry among some medical professionals that a fifth Covid wave could happen among the unvaccinated in the winter. This concerns Minnis as well and is another reason why she decided to hold the clinic now, as temperatures start to dip, she says.

Thrive Hair Bar opened in Ballston in August 2020 inside of Sola Salon Studios at 1010 N. Glebe Road. A former professional dancer and choreographer who traveled the world, Minnis opened the shop because of her experiences struggling to find a local salon that was well-versed in her hair texture.

“Our goal isn’t just for us to give [clients] a hairstyle and they walk away, it’s really to help educate women on how to maintain their hair and care for their natural hair,” Minnis told ARLnow at the time.

She says business ownership has been great so far, adding that she really enjoys being in Ballston.

“It has a modern, professional vibe with fantastic people but didn’t have enough salons that provide twists, braids and blowouts for all hair textures,” Minni said.

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Arlington County is starting to administer vaccine booster shots today, as the rate of new Covid cases continues to decline ever so gradually.

Following federal guidance, the county’s health department says it will administer a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine to qualified individuals, as defined in the press release below. The jabs will be available by appointment only at the county vaccination sites at the Arlington Mill and Walter Reed community centers.

Arlington’s rate of new Covid cases, meanwhile, continues to decline, albeit slowly. As of today the seven day moving average of new daily cases stands at 35, according to Virginia Dept. of Health data. That’s down from a seasonal peak of 48 cases per day two weeks ago. One week ago the moving average was 37 cases per day.

Three Covid-related deaths and 19 hospitalizations have been reported so far this month in Arlington, where at least 76.6% of the population has received at least one vaccine shot, according to VDH.

The full press release about booster shots is below.

On Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, Arlington County Public Health will begin offering COVID-19 vaccine boosters for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to certain people by appointment only, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This new, interim guidance allows for individuals who are at highest risk for COVID-19 to receive a Pfizer- COVID-19 booster shot to help increase their protection, including those in high-risk occupational and institutional settings.

“Vaccine has proven to be the single most effective strategy against reducing serious illness resulting in hospitalization or death and we are grateful that boosters as CDC recommends are now available to our eligible residents,” said Reuben K. Varghese, MD, MPH, Health Director for Arlington County.

The CDC recommends:

  • People 65 years and older and residents 18 years and older in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer primary series;
  • People 50-64 years old with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer primary series;
  • People 18-49 years old with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer primary series;
  • People 18-64 years old who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer primary series.

People can talk to their healthcare provider about whether getting a Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot is appropriate for them.

These recommendations only apply to people who previously received a Pfizer-BioNTech primary series (i.e., the first 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine); At this time booster doses are not recommended for people who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

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Morning Notes

A deer and a fox in the rain, near the Arlington-Fairfax border (photo courtesy Marc Roth)

‘Kindness Yard Sale’ in Penrose — “Susan Thompson-Gaines wants to spread kindness. This weekend, she’s doing it through a big yard sale at her house. She says it’s hard to miss the home she shares with her husband, David — it’s the yellow house with purple trim at the corner of South Second and South Fillmore streets in Arlington… what makes this yard sale different is that the proceeds are all spent on acts of kindness.” [WTOP]

Flood Cleanup for Pike Businesses — From WUSA 9’s Matthew Torres: “A dental hygienist sent me this other video of the flash flooding in Columbia Pike in Arlington. Their business had to close today as they clean up the water that seeped through. Other businesses are having to do the same thing.” [Twitter]

More Vaccinations Added to State Stats — “Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has incorporated vaccination data from jurisdictions in Maryland. Virginians who received vaccinations in Maryland that were not reported through the Virginia Immunization Information System are now included in the locality and statewide dashboards. The updated data reflects an increase in COVID-19 vaccine first dose rates of 0.33% Alexandria, 0.46% Arlington, and 0.39% Eastern Shore.” [Virginia Dept. of Health]

AFAC Gets Donation from Library Program –“Representatives of the Friends of the Arlington Public Library (FOAL), together with the Arlington Public Library and Arlington County Department of Technology Services, presented a check for $4,525 to the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). The donation represents the number of Library readers who successfully completed the 2021 Summer Reading Challenge. The Library’s popular Summer Reading program helps children avoid the ‘summer slide.'” [Arlington County]

Fmr. County Board Member Dies — “Jay Edwin Ricks, 88, passed away at home in Arlington, Virginia on July 18, 2021 due to complications of Parkinson’s Disease… In 1967, Jay was elected to the Arlington County Board where he served until 1971. During this time, he was active in transportation issues and Vice Chairman of Metro during the critical phase of planning the Metro system.” [Legacy]

Local Church Adapts to Pandemic — ‘As another wave of the pandemic comes at us, we are different as a congregation,’ said the Rev. Amanda Poppei, senior minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, Virginia… Poppei’s congregation began hosting outdoor events in spring 2021, including a handbell parade to ring in Pride Month in June and a Flower Communion in May, which they intentionally designed as a multiplatform event.” [UUWorld]

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(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) Arlington’s average rate of new daily Covid cases has plateaued over the past two weeks.

The seven-day moving average currently stands at about 32-33 daily cases. It’s remained around that level, give or take two cases per day, since Aug. 9. The plateau followed a month-long rise in cases since the beginning of July, fueled by the more contagious Delta variant.

One new death and only one new Covid-related hospitalization have been reported over the past week, since Aug. 16.

Though the case average has held fairly steady, the 47 new cases reported on Sunday, according to Virginia Dept. of Health data, represent the highest one-day total since 57 cases were reported on April 9.

With reports of break-through cases among the vaccinated becoming more common, Arlington County last week started offering third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna to certain immunocompromised individuals. The county expects to offer booster shots to the general public later next month, as proposed by the Biden administration.

The Food and Drug Administration, meanwhile, announced today that it has granted full approval to the Pfizer vaccine. It was previously offered under an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA.

With the full approval, the Dept. of Defense says it is planning to make vaccinations mandatory for U.S. service members.

Though it’s hard to predict what will happen with Arlington’s Covid case rate, there is some cause for optimism. In Florida, hard hit by the Delta wave, cases appear to be peaking or falling in many parts of the state.

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(Updated at 10:40 a.m.) A day after declaring that vaccine booster shots were “not currently available,” Arlington started offering them.

“On Tuesday, August 17, Arlington County Public Health will begin offering an additional, or third, dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) to certain immunocompromised people,” Arlington County announced yesterday in a press release. “This follows FDA’s amended Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and the CDC’s adoption of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendation.”

The vaccine booster shots are only available to those who attest that they qualify for them due to being moderately or severely immunocompromised. Those receiving the shots must also have already received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, with the last dose administered at least four weeks ago.

While currently restricted to only certain vulnerable individuals, booster shots are set to become widely available — and encouraged — this fall.

From NBC News:

Top U.S. health officials announced Wednesday that the country has developed a plan to start offering Covid-19 booster shots to all Americans beginning the third week of September, citing evidence that protection is waning not only against hospitalization and death, but also mild and moderate infections, as the highly contagious delta variant continues to spread.

Arlington County, meanwhile, has been upgraded to an area of “high” community spread of COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The local transmission rate was deemed “substantial” by the CDC a couple of weeks ago.

As of Tuesday, neighboring Fairfax County and Alexandria were still seeing only “substantial” community transmission, a lower classification than “high,” according to the CDC website.

Arlington is recording about 33 new cases per day, or 14 daily cases per 100,000 residents, according to a 7-day moving average published this morning by Virginia Dept. of Health.

More on the booster shots, below, from the Arlington County press release.

People who are immunocompromised should speak to their healthcare provider to help decide if they would benefit from an additional dose. Moderately to severely immunocompromised people include those who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
  • Individuals will be asked to self-attest (confirm) as having a qualifying condition at the time of vaccination.

Bring your vaccination card with you so your provider can fill in the information about your additional dose. Keep your vaccination card in case you need it for future use and consider taking a picture of your vaccination card as a backup copy.

At this time, an additional dose of vaccine is not approved for people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or people who are fully vaccinated and not immunocompromised. The FDA and CDC continue to review evidence regarding the safety and effectiveness of an additional dose for these individuals.

Arlington County encourages everyone 12 and older to get a COVID-19 vaccine, especially those who are immunocompromised or have close contact with immunocompromised persons. Arlington County Public Health Division (ACPHD) will only be offering additional doses for moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals at the Arlington Mill Community Center and Walter Reed Community Center clinics; they will not be available at field missions or “pop-up” events at this time.

Free walk-in and scheduled appointments are available at ACPHD’s clinics. Additional opportunities can be found at vaccines.gov; confirm with individual providers the availability of additional, or third, doses.

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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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(Updated at 11:05 a.m.) Earlier this summer, new coronavirus cases were reaching new lows. Now cases remain on the rise across the county, Commonwealth and the country.

In Arlington today another 18 cases were reported, bringing the seven-day trailing average up to 16 cases per day, the highest point since May 5.

Thanks to vaccinations, serious complications from Covid remain at relatively low levels. Over the past two months, two Covid-related deaths and 20 new hospitalizations have been reported in Arlington.

But the more contagious Delta variant of the virus is in some cases infecting even those who have been fully vaccinated. A new metric published by the Virginia Dept. of Health reports 1,377 known “breakthrough” cases, resulting in 114 hospitalizations and 37 deaths.

“Over 99% of COVID-19 cases in Virginia have occurred in people who were not fully vaccinated,” State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver was quoted as saying in a county press release Tuesday. “I continue to encourage everyone who is able to get vaccinated to do so.”

Arlington’s health department has now administered more than 150,000 vaccine doses, the press release notes.

“As of Monday (July 26), the Arlington County Public Health Division has given more than 150,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses!” the county said. “Overall in Arlington, a total of 264,500 doses have been administered and 132,000+ people are fully vaccinated. The vaccines are free, safe and still the best protection against COVID-19.”

As cases rise, talk of mask and vaccine-related requirements have heated up in recent days.

Students at Montgomery County and Fairfax County public schools will be required to wear masks inside schools this fall regardless of vaccination status, the school systems announced this week. Arlington Public Schools has yet to make a formal announcement of its mask policy for the fall; Virginia is strongly recommending that all elementary school students, teachers and staff wear masks.

President Biden is expected to announce tomorrow that all federal employees must be vaccinated or face “repeated testing mandates,” the Washington Post reports. Fairfax County is also mulling a vaccination requirement for its municipal employees.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meanwhile, updated its mask guidance yesterday to recommend that even vaccinated people wear masks in indoor, public settings where prevalence of the virus is elevated. There is some disagreement among experts as to whether the mask guidance will make a substantial difference in combating the spread of the virus, in part because many are likely to ignore the guidance.

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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%.

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