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State data shows continued COVID-19 case stabilization in SAW

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COVID-19 cases in the Staunton-Waynesboro-Augusta region are down 30.1 percent over the past week, according to an analysis of numbers from the Virginia Department of Health.

Back on Sept. 21, the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases in the SAW region was at 87.0 per 100,000 residents.

As of this morning’s VDH data update, the seven-day average is at 60.8 new cases per 100,000 residents.

So, good news, relatively speaking.

Our numbers are down, but still a lot higher than the numbers for the state as a whole – which is seeing 35.3 new COVID cases per 100,000 residents.

The local number is 72.2 percent higher.

Augusta Health, which reported on Monday that its patient census had declined 27 percent from a recent mid-September high, is still projecting a peak in new cases and hospitalizations running into mid-October.

A key reason there: we’re barely seeing any movement in new COVID-19 vaccinations.

Again, looking at the VDH data, 57.5 percent of the SAW region has had at least one COVID-19 vaccination shot, and 52.9 percent are fully vaccinated.

The relevant state numbers: 67.6 percent at least one shot, 60.2 percent fully vaccinated.

We’re behind by a lot, which is why we may still see another surge in the next few weeks.

Story by Chris Graham