There’s no COVID-19 update from the Virginia Department of Health this morning, because – according to their (weird) explanation – “Virginia has made great progress in the COVID-19 pandemic response” and, so, “Starting July 17, 2021, the reporting schedules for these dashboards and accompanying data sets on the Virginia Open Data Portal will change from daily to Monday to Friday by 10am.” Now, obviously, the VDH folks have worked *really* hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, and deserve thanks and gratitude for their dedication. And yes, Virginia HAS made “great progress in the COVID-19 pandemic response.” But having said all that, I think it’s a mistake to scale back on posting COVID-19 data updates, given the fact that – as the latest UVA COVID model weekly update clearly states:
- The global pandemic is “still raging.”
- In Virginia, “[c]ases have ceased their decline in most health districts, and returned to growth in many. The statewide transmission rate is above 1.0.”
- “For unvaccinated individuals and those not yet fully vaccinated, however, the threat of COVID-19 remains as high as ever. “
- “Similar to national patterns, there is wide variation in vaccination rates. Some counties, primarily in Northern and Central Virginia, have very high vaccination rates. Rates in South and Southwest Virginia are much lower.:
- “The Delta variant has become dominant in Virginia in the last couple of weeks. As it continues to spread, the UVA model shows that Virginia can expect the same pattern occurring globally and nationally. Delta will cause COVID surges in areas with low vaccination.”
In short, as CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said yesterday, “There is a clear message that is coming through: This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated…Our biggest concern is we are going to continue to see preventable cases, hospitalizations and sadly deaths among the unvaccinated.” So if, for whatever reason(s), you have not gotten vaccinated yet, do so immediately! The lives you save could very well be your own, your family members, friends, etc.