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COVID cases up dramatically in Virginia: But, good news on the horizon?

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The Virginia Department of Health reported a staggering 8,756 new COVID cases on Christmas Eve, as the Omicron variant continues to take root in the Commonwealth – but the news isn’t all bad.

Reports out of the UK and South Africa, which began dealing with the new variant weeks ahead of its spread to the United States, seem to be indicating that Omicron leads to far fewer hospitalizations, and that its faster spread should lead to a quicker peak than was experienced during the second wave of COVID last winter.

Still, we’re not near our peak here in Virginia yet. The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association dashboard reports that there are 1,634 COVID patients in hospitals in the Commonwealth on Christmas morning, nearly double where we were at the nadir on Nov. 12 following the late-summer wave of 827.

The University of Virginia COVID projection model is forecasting a peak of 14,308 new COVID cases per day the week of Feb. 6, suggesting growth in case numbers for six more weeks before numbers start to drop again.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press