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With return to normal, ‘the virus has room to run,’ Virginia researchers say | Local News


Infections have been nudged upward since the end of June across the commonwealth and locally.

Currently, even the most reserved projection show weekly caseloads could reach levels seen last summer. The worst-case scenario puts those infections at about half of January’s surge. Both are increases from projections weeks ago.

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UVa estimates that if vaccination rates increase, more than 50,000 illnesses can be avoided.  

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Virginia could follow the trend playing out in other states around the country. Those areas with low-vaccination rates are seeing an uptick in cases and hospitalizations.

“Despite abundant vaccine supply, the nation fell just short of the President’s goal of 70% of adults with at least one dose by July 4,” researchers wrote. “Nevertheless, vaccination rates vary widely across the country.” 

Less than half of the adults in Danville and Pittsylvania County are fully vaccinated. UVa researchers — and health experts in general — say the threat of COVID-19 is “as high as ever” for those without shots in the arm.

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidance for vaccinated people, nothing was altered for those who are unvaccinated. Anyone who hasn’t received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or just one shot of the Johnson and Johnson should still wear masks in public and avoid large gatherings, experts warn.



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