HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Hospitalizations are down, and more people are testing at home. For three straight days, COVID-19 cases are below 5,000 a day in the Commonwealth, the first time since mid-December.
Chances are you may be hosting or attending a Super Bowl party this Sunday, but medical experts say use caution so your party is not a super spreader.
"If you are going to have a party - not saying you have to test everyone, but know your audience and think about testing," said Dr. Crystal Crewe with Legacy Labs in Williamsburg.
Legacy Labs administers vaccines and COVID-19 tests, which have been decreasing lately - a good sign, says Dr. Crewe.
"Our numbers have changed significantly from the last couple of weeks. We were seeing 300-400 people a day every day for a couple of months. Now, [we're down to] 50 to 100 people," she said.
The number of hospitalizations also decreased, the lowest it's been since the start of the year.
"The numbers have dropped just below 2,000 hospitalizations. As of today, it's 1,990," said Julian Walker, spokesperson for the Virginia Healthcare and Hospital Association.
At the start of the year, Virginia had close to 4,000 hospitalizations.
Sentara Hospitals is also seeing a downward trend. They're now hovering, in most areas, under 50 hospitalizations daily, down from 80 to 100.
"Part of it may be the government getting home testing kits out and people being vigilant about social distancing," said Crewe.
The University of Virginia's latest COVID projection model shows most of the states' health districts have a declining trajectory. UVA says Virginia could get below 2,000 cases a day by mid-March, or they could pop in mid-February if mitigation measures were to stop.
"Scientists across the globe are already spotting new variants of Omicron, so the reality is this may be with us for some time - learning to live with it. We still need to recognize this is health risk for people and a burden and a strain on hospitals," said Walker.
The VHHA did ask on Wednesday for Gov. Glenn Youngkin to extend Emergency Order 11 for an additional 30 days. It is set to expire on February 21.