By Denise Dunbar | [email protected]
Cases of COVID-19 are spiking again in Alexandria, reaching a seven-day moving average of 70 new cases per day as of Tuesday. By comparison, one month ago, on April 3, the seven-day moving average was 53.6, and on March 3, it was 20.4, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
The last time cases of COVID-19 were this high in the city was Feb. 7, when the seven-day moving average was 76.6. This came on the tail end of the extreme surge in late December 2021 and early January 2022 when the Omicron variant raced through the city and surged around the world.
In the past 13 weeks, dating back to early February, there has been a significant uptick in the number of cases in younger children in Alexandria. While children ages 9 and under accounted for a small percentage of cases early in the pandemic, that is no longer the case. In the last 13 weeks, there have been 429 cases of COVID-19 among children 9 and under, one of four age groups with at least 400 cases during the past three months – the others being age 20 to 29 with 433 cases, age 40 to 49 with 503 cases and age 30 to 39 with 705 cases.
White residents contracted COVID-19 more than four times as frequently as Black residents during the past 13 weeks and almost five times as frequently as Latino residents. There were 1,513 COVID-19 cases among white residents, compared to 372 cases among Black residents and 311 among Latino residents, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
But Black residents had worse outcomes from COVID19 during the past 13 weeks than either white or Latino residents. Despite having vastly fewer cases than white residents and slightly more than Latino residents, Black residents were hospitalized and died from COVID-19 at higher rates than either group during the last 13 weeks. Eight Black residents, seven white residents and two Latino residents were hospitalized from COVID-19, while three Black, one white and no Latino residents died from the virus in that timeframe.
There has also been a significant, yet conflicting, gender disparity both during the last 13 weeks and from the start of the pandemic. Women have contracted COVID-19 in higher numbers than men both in Alexandria and throughout Virginia, yet men have had more severe outcomes both locally and statewide.
During the past 13 weeks, 1,624 women and 1,328 men were diagnosed with COVID19 in Alexandria, roughly the same percentages as throughout the pandemic. Yet of the 188 total city deaths from COVID-19 since March 2020, 105 have been men and 83 women. In the past 13 weeks, two men and two women died from COVID-19.