by Brandon Jarvis

While they have dropped since their peak at the end of January, the COVID-19 numbers in Petersburg are still significantly higher than the average that Virginia is experiencing as a whole. Additionally, Petersburg has reported a 56% increase in total deaths since Feb. 10, but this likely due to the lag in death certificates being processed by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) after the holiday surge.

In total, there have been 3,192 confirmed positive cases among Petersburg residents since the pandemic began nearly one year ago. The latest numbers show that 131 residents have been hospitalized and 61 people have died as a result of COVID-19 complications. On Feb. 10, Petersburg reported 127 hospitalizations and only 39 deaths – showing an increase of only four new hospitalizations with the 22 additional deaths.

Those 22 deaths were all reported between Feb. 20 and March 3.

“VDH is now processing 2021 death certificates related to the post-holiday surge of COVID-19 cases,” reads an explanation from VDH Tuesday. “As a result, a larger number of deaths is expected to be added by report date.”

Overall, Petersburg’s numbers are improving – even if it is slower than the rest of Virginia. The city was seeing an average of 76 new cases a day towards the end of January, compared to the current 7-day average of 18 new cases per day. When taking that 7-day average and scaling it to a population of 100,000 people, the percentage equals 56.1, which is 38 points higher than the average in Virginia, however. This is also a four-point increase since Virginia Scope last reported the numbers on Feb. 10.

The neighboring city of Colonial Heights is also seeing a number higher than the average with 47.3 new daily cases reported when scaled to a population of 100,000 people. This is a sharp drop for Colonial Heights residents, however, as Virginia Scope reported a 7-day average on Feb. 10 of 76.1 new cases a day when compared to a population of 100,000 people.

Colonial Heights has reported a 32% increase in deaths in recent weeks as well with only 2 new hospitalizations in the same time frame – again pointing to the lag in reporting from VDH as a reason for the sudden increase.

The Commonwealth is reporting an average of 51,325 new vaccines being administered per day, right now. According to VDH, 3,015 Petersburg residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 1,158 residents are fully vaccinated.

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By vascope