COVID-19 hospitalizations bump up

COVID-19 hospitalizations bump up
(Photo Credit: Alexa Epitropoulos)

By Denise Dunbar |

In the last seven days, Alexandria has continued its upward surge in COVID-19 cases and test positivity, and hospitalizations were also up almost sixfold from the week prior, albeit still with small actual numbers.

In response to both rising case numbers and patient loads, Inova announced on Wednesday that it was reenacting an emergency status and reopening its COVID-19 coordination center. Inova is also encouraging residents not to come to its emergency rooms for COVID-19 testing if they are asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms, since the hospital is now prioritizing patients with “more critical medical needs,” according to a news release.

As of Tuesday, Alexandria’s seven-day average of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases jumped to 399 daily, meaning there were 2,793 cases of COVID-19 since Dec. 28 in Alexandria. This is an increase of 52% in the last week, when the seven-day average number of COVID-19 cases was 263.

Alexandria’s seven-day average PCR positivity rate almost doubled from last week, climbing to 28.6% from 14.5%.

As of last week, the city had not experienced a corresponding uptick in hospitalizations, but that changed during the last seven days. Alexandria went from a seven-day average daily hospitalization rate of .6% on Dec. 28 to 2.9% on Tuesday.

This means that essentially one person was admitted to the hospital every other day for COVID-19 during the week ending Dec. 28, while an average of three Alexandrians per day were hospitalized for COVID-19 in the last week. In total, 20 Alexandrians were hospitalized for COVID-19 in the seven days ending on Tuesday.

During the past two years, hospitalizations have tended to lag several weeks behind cases, and deaths have lagged several weeks beyond that. There were two new COVID-19 deaths reported in Alexandria in December, and no new deaths since Dec. 22.

On Dec. 28, the Virginia Department of Health reported four COVID-19 related deaths of Alexandrians, but those were people who had died out-of-state in 2020 and were not part of the current surge in cases and hospitalizations.