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Weekly COVID-19 update: Virginia and the country pass grim statistics as cases continue to rise

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Virginia reported 19,321 new COVID-19 infections over the past week, bringing the cumulative total during the pandemic to 1,013,390, the Virginia Department of Health reported Friday.

The one million case mark for Virginia is just one of many "grim" statistics seen around the country and our region this week, Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts Director Cynthia Morrow said. The United States surpassed 800,000 virus deaths, the highest known number of any country.

The state on Friday reported 188 new virus-related deaths over the past seven days, for a total of 15,083 since the start of the pandemic.

In the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts, more than 700 people have died from COVID-19 complications.

Morrow said these statistics remind the community of how significant the pandemic continues to be for everyone.

"We know everybody is exhausted," she said. "People are angry that we’re still in the situation that we’re in, but it’s really incumbent upon us as we move into the holiday season and these important family gatherings to do everything in our power to protect ourselves and our loved ones. It is challenging, it is frustrating, we are all so tired of this, but the numbers don’t lie and this pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on beloved members of our community.”

The state reported 383 fewer hospitalizations over the past seven days, decreasing the total number of people hospitalized during the pandemic to 39,963, although the VDH website notes that hospitalizations are underrepresented. As cases are more fully investigated, the number of hospitalizations is adjusted.

Virginia’s near southwest region, which includes hospitals from Lynchburg to the Roanoke Valley, had 274 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Friday, including 82 in intensive care. Last Friday, there had been 243 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the region, including 60 in ICUs.

As of Friday, 77.5% of Virginia’s adult population had been fully vaccinated.

Children ages 5-11 have been approved to receive a vaccine, which are available at the community vaccination center in the former Sears store at Valley View Mall, located at 4812 Valley View Blvd. People can make appointments at vaccinate.virgina.gov or by calling 877-829-4682. Walk-ins are also now open for adults and children.

The Roanoke Times contributed to this report.

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