The localities in black and gray have the highest rates, the ones in green the lowest. Courtesy of The Daily Yonder.

COVID-19 infection rates, which had been falling in Virginia, have now levelled off. But those doesn’t mean trends are level everywhere. In parts of Southwest Virginia, which has generally had the highest rates in the state, rates continue to rise. However, one county in the northern Shenandoah Valley (Clarke) and one small locality in Northern Virginia (the city of Fairfax) have seen their once-low rates spike. For the week ending November 13, they posted the highest virus rates in the state, according to federal data analyzed by The Daily Yonder, a website the covers rural issues.

For a long time, the lowest infection rates in the state were in Northern Virginia. That’s now changed. We now see some localities in Southside — and elsewhere — ranking among the lowest in the state for the week being measured. Three localities — Emporia, Hopewell and Richmond County on the Northern Neck — have had no new infections for two weeks running. Also of note: Lynchburg now has the lowest rate of any major city in the state. However, these week-by-week rates also show how changeable things can be. Two weeks ago, Russell County had one of the lowest infection rates in the state. Now it’s spiked back up and ranks 10th highest in the state. Generally speaking, the lowest infection rates are in places with the highest vaccination rates, and vice versa.

Here are the localities with the highest infection rates in the state, as measured on a cases per 100,000 population basis. Five of the top 10 are in Southwest Virginia. If you count Patrick County, on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge, as part of Southwest, then the number rises to six of 10.

  1. Clarke County 656.7, up from 82.1
  2. Fairfax (city) 645.3, up from 462.1
  3. Galax 630.2, up from 315.1
  4. Dinwiddie County 592.1, up from 248.7
  5. Norton 552.6, up from 527.5
  6. Buena Vista 524.9, up from 277.9
  7. Patrick County 391.9, up from 278.3
  8. Buchanan County 380.9, down from 528.5
  9. Dickenson County 377.1, up from 202.5
  10. Russell County 342.3, up from 94.0

Here are the localities in the state with the lowest infection rates for the week ending Nov. 13, as measured on a cases per 100,000 basis. Only three localities west of the Blue Ridge — Covington, Harrisonburg and Montgomery County — rank among the lowest. And of those, only Covington ranks in the Top 25:

  1. Emporia, Hopewell and Richmond County 0.0, unchanged from 0.0
  2. Manassas Park 11.4, down from 103.0
  3. Northampton County 17.1, down from 42.7
  4. Covington 18.1, down from 54.2
  5. Lynchburg 29.2, down from 43.8
  6. Southampton 34.0, down from 39.7
  7. Sussex County 35.8, unchanged
  8. Poquoson 40.7, down from 171.1
  9. Northumberland County 41.3, down from 57.9
  10. Fairfax County 41.8, up from 40.4
  11. Mathews County 45.3, unchanged from 45.3
  12. Cumberland County 50.3, up from 10.1
  13. Norfolk 54.0, down from 65.1
  14. Middlesex County 56.7, up from 37.8
  15. Charles City County 57.4, down from 86.2
  16. Newport News 61.4, down from 102.1
  17. York County 61.5, down from 86.4
  18. Surry County 62.3, down from 93.4
  19. Accomack County 65.0, down from 80.5
  20. Charlottesville 65.6, down from 69.8
  21. Lancaster County 66.0, up from 47.2
  22. Buckingham County 70.0, down from 116.6
  23. Prince Edward County 70.2, down from 74.6
  24. Winchester 71.2, down from 117.5
  25. Fredericksburg 72.3, down from 86.1

You can find an interactive map that lets you look up rates for every locality here. The Virginia Department of Health has more updated statistics here.