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Virginia hits new COVID milestone with over 2M reported cases

Another grim milestone: US surpasses 9 million coronavirus cases
Posted at 6:27 PM, Aug 16, 2022

RICHMOND, Va. -- On Tuesday, Virginia hit the two-million mark of COVID-19 cases reported to the health department since the beginning of the pandemic.

Although the sheer number of cases is likely higher because of at-home testing not reported to the VDH and those who chose to not test, the 12th most populous state in the U.S. ranks 14th for the total number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic, according to CDC data.

Recently, health experts have said tracking the total number of cases is less helpful in tracking the pandemic, instead focusing on recent case rate trends, hospitalizations, hospital bed capacity in a region, and deaths.

As for where the spread of COVID-19 is trending in Virginia, modeling experts suggest the Commonwealth might have seen its omicron variant peak and cases are expected to decline.

“Case rates have plateaued but are still high in most areas of the Commonwealth. On average, rates are over five times higher than they were in the summer of 2021. Statewide hospitalizations may have peaked last week and are showing signs of decline,” said the UVA COVID-19 model from August 12.

“Models suggest Virginia will experience a continued gradual decline in case rates. Seasonal forcing or a new variant could potentially cause a surge by November. Conversely, Omicron-specific boosters could tamp down such surges and prevent thousands of hospitalizations,” the report continues.

COVID-19 remains an active, potentially deadly health threat to thousands of Virginians, especially those with certain health conditions or those not yet vaccinated.

At Byrd Park Tuesday morning, it was not difficult to meet Virginians who were part of the two million case count.

“Fortunately, I didn’t ever have to consider going to the hospital, but it was still pretty bad. I was basically in bed for about a week,” said Tim Sprowl, who got the virus about a year and a half ago.

“It’s a very unique time and certainly there are challenges, but it doesn’t seem like things are that bad yet,” Sprowl said of his current thinking on the pandemic.

“You know I definitely didn’t feel good,” said Janine Vary, who tested positive last winter.

Vary and her nephew Robert visit Byrd Park several times each week to walk, meet new friends, and reflect, especially since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

“Total shock, especially when the whole world shut down. I had just retired; I didn’t know the whole world would retire with me,” Vary said.

Vary is thankful no one in her family has been seriously impacted by COVID-19, and with interventions and vaccines readily available, the pandemic entered a new phase a while ago.

“For me, in a sense, it’s all done. That’s how I’m feeling about it. I want to be able to live and shop and go about in the community,” Vary said. “I think we’ve learned a lot now that we’re on this side. . . so I’m very thankful that through every bad thing we learn good things. We learn how to take care of ourselves and our neighbors. And it’s like okay, alright, let’s enjoy life.”

If you or someone you know needs to get up to date on COVID-19 vaccination, visit this website.

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