That Center for Disease Control reclassified Charlottesville City and Albemarle County’s COVID-19 community level from “high” to “medium” on Thursday. The CDC uses three measurements to measure societal levels – new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, total cases per. 100.0-00 inhabitants, both measured weekly, and the percentage of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.
In Charlottesville and Albemarle, COVID-19 cases per 10,000 inhabitants over the last seven days dropped to below 200, low enough for the change in classification according to the CDC.
While individuals in societies classified as “high” are advised to wear a mask indoors and in public – whether or not they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 – in “medium” COVID-19 level societies they do not have to follow these guidelines.
At the community level, officials in “high” level areas are also encouraged to implement “prevention strategies” based on local factors, such as ensuring proper health support for increases in cases where necessary.
In all, there have been 10,067 cases of COVID-19 in Charlottesville since Blue Ridge Health District began recording data in March 2020. Of these cases, 192 have resulted in hospitalizations and 77 have been fatal.
Dr. Costi Sifri, U.Va. Health Director of Hospital Epidemiology, said under a press release briefing Friday that the number of cases of COVID-19 is declining and that the effects of COVID-19 on the hospital are getting smaller. According to Costi, this reflects feelings in the Charlottesville community that the footprint of the virus is on its way back.
Cases in the university community topped January 11 this semester, where the average of seven days was 74.43 new cases per. Pr. March 3 – the Thursday before the spring break – there was an average of 9.14 new cases reported per day according to the university’s COVID-19 tracker. The average seven-day positivity rate was 4.05 percent, while the number of active cases was 132 on the same day.
After the spring break, the average number of new cases dropped to 2.29 on 15 March. The average seven-day positivity rate also dropped to 3.25 percent and the number of active cases dropped to 19.
University administrators announced February 22 that they will lift the requirement for indoor masking on March 21 for university-owned spaces – including office buildings, IM-Rec facilities and venues. The mandate will remain in place in the classrooms, U.Va. Health facilities and university transit services.