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IW sees COVID spike

Statewide, the COVID-19 resurgence fueled by the more contagious delta variant has been gradually declining since mid-September, but that isn’t true of Isle of Wight County.

Isle of Wight reported 35 new COVID-19 cases on Oct. 2 — its highest single-day increase since Jan. 25.

It also ties with Jan. 16 as the third-highest daily new case count for the county since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

According to Virginia Department of Health data, the delta variant is now the predominant coronavirus strain in Virginia’s Eastern District, which includes all of Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore. Delta now accounts for roughly 67% of all Eastern District cases, and the majority of hospitalizations and deaths.

Since late July, Isle of Wight has reported a 10% or higher positivity rate. As of Sept. 25, the last week for which VDH has released data on positivity trends, Isle of Wight was reporting an 11.9% positivity rate.

Isle of Wight’s seven-day average for new cases per 100,000 residents stood at 47.6 as of Oct. 5, which is nearly 26% higher than the city of Suffolk’s average for the same week.

There have been 43 outbreaks in the Western Tidewater Health District since the start of the pandemic. The district includes Isle of Wight and Southampton counties and the cities of Suffolk and Franklin.

The VDH defines an outbreak as two or more laboratory-confirmed, epidemiologically-linked COVID-19 cases at a facility among people who do not share a household or share close contact with each other outside of the workplace. In healthcare facilities, outbreaks are defined as two or more epidemiologically-linked, lab-confirmed cases in patients seven or more days after admission for a non-COVID-19 condition, or three or more epidemiologically-linked cases with no other more likely sources of exposure for at least two of the cases.

According to the VDH’s online outbreak tracker, which lists outbreaks in K-12 schools, daycares, medical facilities, long-term care facilities and colleges and universities, there are no active outbreaks at any of these types of facilities in Isle of Wight County currently.

Statewide, 68% of Virginians had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 60.6% were fully vaccinated. In Isle of Wight, by comparison, only 60.5% of the population has received at least one dose and 53.5% is fully vaccinated. Isle of Wight is, however, leading the Western Tidewater Health District in its percentage of partially and fully vaccinated residents.

In Surry County, which is in the Crater Health District, 57.7% of the population has received at least one dose and 52% is fully vaccinated.

According to the Sept. 25 VDH data, breakthrough infections among fully vaccinated Virginians account for just 0.5% of the state’s cases. Unvaccinated people, the VDH website states, were developing COVID-19 at a rate 7.9 times that of fully vaccinated people as of that week, were 6.7 times more likely than fully vaccinated people to be hospitalized and were 7.9 times more likely to die.