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The rolling 7-day average new case count in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University, is over 260,000.  There have been over 22 million documented cases of COVID-19 in the United States, and we have had over 374,000 deaths.  Hospital system and health care worker overload and stress in some highly affected regions continue to worsen.

In Virginia, the 7-day moving average of cases by date reported is 5,013; the 7-day average percent test positivity remains at 16.7%. Community transmission extent in all regions of Virginia remains substantial (high). The moving 7-day average of people hospitalized for COVID-19, a lagging indicator, is over 3,100. There is still adequate hospital and ICU capability across the state at this time; ICU occupancy is 82% and 35% of ventilators are in use.  All counties across the state remain at highest risk for community transmission as defined by the CDC.  

In Three Rivers, there were 634 new cases last week. The timing of these cases is consistent with exposures over the holiday season. This is the “pandemic surge-on-surge.” According to the CDC K-12 School Metrics, all jurisdictions in Three Rivers Health District remain at highest risk levels from a community transmission standpoint. The viral load in wastewater in the HRSD is skyrocketing as well, commensurate with and confirming this surge.

Three Rivers Vaccination Update

For the last three weeks, area hospitals and the Three Rivers Health District have been vaccinating health care workers and first responders in vaccine phase 1a. Long-term health care and assisted living facility residents and staff are being vaccinated by Walgreen’s and CVS pharmacies through a federal partnership. The priority phases of the COVID-19 vaccination effort are:

•Phase 1a - Healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents.

•Phase 1b - Persons aged 75 years and older, and non–health care frontline essential workers such as law enforcement personnel, firefighters, educators, grocery store workers, transit and postal workers.

•Phase 1c - Persons aged 65–74 years, persons aged 16–64 years with high-risk medical conditions, and essential workers not included in Phase 1b.

In Three Rivers, Three Rivers Health District has established a collaborative relationship with local hospitals to engage combined capabilities in the COVID-19 vaccination effort. They are in frequent communication with each other to coordinate efforts to make sure they are as comprehensive and efficient as possible as they move through all phases. In the health district, they are coordinating their vaccination efforts from the Middlesex Health Department. The EMS staff is helping with vaccine administration, logistics, and facility support in coordination with the vaccine team. They are currently contacting all non-health care system based health care workers in the Three Rivers Health District through their places of employment to arrange appointments to receive the Moderna vaccine. If you are a health care worker, and have not heard from Three Rivers Health District by 1/13/2021, please call them at 804-815-4191.