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VDH urges vigilance as COVID-19 cases soar to record levels

Generic Coronavirus
Generic Coronavirus(Associated Press)
Published: Jan. 17, 2021 at 9:17 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Another bleak record has been broken in Virginia’s fight against COVID-19. In the past 24 hours, the Virginia Department of Health recorded 9,914 new COVID-19 cases — the highest daily increase since the pandemic began.

So far, 5,729 death have been attributed to COVID-19. About 5,000 of those deaths were confirmed from COVID-19, and the remaining 692 cases were considered probable.

[ Nearly 10,000 new COVID-19 cases reported in Va. Sunday ]

VDH said in a statement that the increase is likely due to exposures during the holidays, similar to after Thanksgiving.

“VDH reminds Virginians to be vigilant and use the recommended guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said VDH’s communications director.

Governor Ralph Northam echoed that advice Sunday morning via Twitter, saying Virginians have to keep doing “what we know works,” like wearing masks, washing hands, avoiding large gatherings, practicing social distancing and staying home if you don’t have a reason to be out.

Northam added that while the vaccines are a step in the right direction, Virginian’s must continue to treat the virus as a dangerous threat.

Last month, Northam introduced new restrictions including stay at home orders between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m., a universal mask requirement for ages five and up in indoor settings, and limits to gatherings larger than 10 people.

The order was set to last through the end of the month. At this time, no word has been given if those order will be extended or expanded.

On the vaccine front, the commonwealth has administered over 316,000 doses. More than 943,000 vaccine doses have been distributed across the state.

The state is currently averaging more than 15,000 doses administered daily. More than 283,000 Virginians have been vaccinated with at lease one dose, and over 33,000 Virginians are considered fully inoculated.

In the days ahead, VDH says it will have plenty of testing available following suspected protests at the State Capitol ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

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