(July 30th, 2021) The Delta variant is dominant in Virginia, driving an increase in cases. All areas of Virginia are seeing case growth, with 10 of 35 Health Districts experiencing surges. Model projections indicate that, along current trajectories, cases could exceed last January’s peak.

Evidence is building that the Delta variant causes more severe disease, adding to the threat posed by its increased transmissibility. Vaccines are our best defense against the Delta variant, drastically reducing the risk of infection and severe disease.

With the Delta virus becoming dominant, the model estimates cases will return to growth
through the fall, reaching levels not seen since April in mid-September. Vaccination rates are
still below herd immunity levels and, with many Virginians returning to normal, the virus has
room to run. If the Delta variant continues to spread, cases could peak at 103 average daily
cases per 100,000 in mid September.

To lessen the projected peak, we must give vaccines time to have an impact. If vaccination
rates pick up, the model estimates that over 60,000 cases could be avoided.  The Delta variant, first identified in India, is now well established in Virginia. Over 70% of new COVID19 cases in the Commonwealth are of the Delta variant. Models predict this figure will reach 90% by mid-August. The Alpha variant, which was dominant from April to July, has declined and is expected to represent fewer than 10% of cases by mid-August.

The Delta variant is more capable of causing breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated individuals than prior strains. However, confidence in the efficacy of these vaccines remains