Loudoun County saw 356 new cases of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 between June 22 and June 29, an average of nearly 51 cases a day over the past week.
The county saw 84 new cases on Saturday, which followed 67 on Friday. There were 42 new cases reported Sunday and 36 on Monday.
The county's total case count is 3,968.
Loudoun County has seen 87 deaths related to the virus. One death was reported on Thursday, one on Friday and one on Sunday. The majority of deaths have come from senior communities in Loudoun.
Over the past week, county health officials say they have noticed an increase in the number of positive tests for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 among residents between 10 and 29 years old.
“We are taking a closer look at these cases to determine what may be causing the increase in COVID-19 among our younger population,” Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend said in a prepared statement. “I suspect that many teens and young adults are increasingly participating in activities that involve larger gatherings of people, such as beach week and other celebrations, which has increased their exposure to others outside their families.”
Over the past week, 150 people between the ages of 16 and 18 years old tested positive for COVID-19, which represents 58 percent of all people in this age group since the pandemic began, according to county officials.
“While younger people may feel invincible, it is critical that all of us take the necessary precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19 because the virus is still circulating in our community, particularly staying home and away from others when sick and wearing face coverings while in public,” Goodfriend said.
Goodfriend's statement comes as Virginia is expected to enter the third phase of Gov. Ralph Northam's reopening plan on Wednesday.
Under the ”Phase 3” guidelines, social gatherings can include up to 250 people, child care facilities will be open and the capacity cap will be lifted for nonessential businesses, restaurants and beverage services. Entertainment venues such as museums, zoos and other outdoor venues will be allowed to open at 50 percent capacity (up to 1,000 people). Gyms, fitness centers and swimming pools may open to 75 percent capacity. Personal grooming services such as hair salons will still have to follow social distancing guidelines. Overnight summer camps will remain closed.
The seven-day average for percent positivity in local testing stood at 8.5 percent on June 25, the last date for which data was available. It has stayed around that mark for the previous seven days.
Americans are encouraged to remain vigilant in taking the following precautions:
-Avoid large gatherings of people and sharing living spaces with people outside your immediate household.
-Practice social distancing: Stay six feet apart from others whenever possible.
-Wear a face covering over the nose and mouth while in public, particularly indoors.
-Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds; use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available.
-Stay home when sick, except when seeking medical care.
-Avoid close contact with people who are sick, including in your home.
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
-Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces frequently.
-Cover coughs and sneezes when not wearing a face covering.