Loudoun County saw a drop in COVID-19 infection rates over the past week, with 549 new cases reported on Wednesday, compared to the recent high of 1,265 new infections seen on January 8, according to Virginia Department of Health data.
“We are still seeing a very high number of COVID cases and a very high percent positivity,” Dr. David Goodfriend, the county’s health director, told the Times-Mirror on Wednesday.
“Those numbers have drifted down over the last week, which is promising, not just for us in Loudoun County, but throughout our region,” he said. “So we are looking at it very closely. We think the mitigation strategies that people are undertaking – vaccination, mask wearing, staying home when sick and getting tested are very effective and are helping. So we’re cautiously optimistic that we may be seeing the worst of the omicron surge behind us.
The health director said with kids coming back in school, “we may see a new increase in cases and we are keeping a close eye on it.”
Goodfriend added that he encourages people to continue to wear masks indoors in public settings.
“Universal mask usage is very important during times of high COVID-19 transmission, so we encourage people to wear masks when they are indoors in public settings,” he said.
Susan Carroll, president of Inova Loudoun Hospital in Lansdowne, told the Times-Mirror on Wednesday that she believes Loudoun saw its peak last week.
The hospital currently has 40 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, compared to a record-breaking 80 patients at the peak about a week ago.
“Every day this past week we have seen decreasing numbers of COVID patients being admitted. It mimics what we are seeing with places hit by Omicron before we were,” Carroll said. “It’s amazing how it can surge and then come down so quickly.”
At the beginning of January, Inova Loudoun experienced a dip in staff levels due to infection of the coronavirus, which has not been the case this week, according to Carroll.
“The team member surge matches the community spread,” she said. “Now we are seeing it dip down in the community, the cases are dipping among our team as well.”
“We are hoping in two weeks we will be through this next round,” she said.
Carroll said that because the hospitals’ staff are all vaccinated, while some staff members did contract COVID, “the illness has been short lived,” she said. “Now if a team member gets COVID, according to CDC guidelines, some are back five days later,” Carroll said.
At StoneSprings Hospital in Dulles, Suzanne Kelly, director of marketing and communications, said the hospital has continued to see more COVID patients over the last several weeks than they had before the end of the year. However, they have had a sharp decline in the number of colleagues out due to COVID.