The highest rates are in localities in black and gray; the lowest in green. Courtesy of The Daily Yonder.

Covid infections are falling across Virginia but remain high in many rural parts of Virginia, with the highest rates onces again in Southwest Virginia. For the week ending Feb. 12, Covington and Surry County had the lowest rates in the state — both recorded no new covid infections, according to data analyzed by The Daily Yonder, a website that covers rural issues. However, the 11 highest localities in Virginia were all west of the Blue Ridge with 10 of those 11 in Southwest Virginia. Lexington in the Shenandoah Valley was the only exception:

Eleven localities posted rates higher than 1,000 cases per 100,000 population:

  1. Norton 1,934.2, up from 1,883.9
  2. Grayson County 1736.3, down from 1,762.1
  3. Wise County 1,407.1, down from 1,701.3
  4. Smyth County 1365.3, down from 1,697.4
  5. Lexington 1,356.4, down from 1893.4
  6. Craig County 1,266.8, up from 1,032.9
  7. Lee County 1,135.6, down from 1,720.5
  8. Tazewell County 1,115.9, down from 1,120.8
  9. Giles County 1040.7, down from 1,279.9
  10. Scott County 1,020.1, down from 1326.2
  11. Russell County 1,011.8, down from 1241.3

Four localities saw rates fall enough to put them in the “green” zone. They were:

  1. Covington 0.0, down from 686.2
  2. Sussex County, 0.0, and down from 546.6
  3. Highland County 45.7, down from 958.9
  4. Fairfax (city) 54.1, down from 108.2

Generally speaking, the highest infection rates are in places with the lowest vaccination rates. You can look up every locality in the country on The Daily Yonder’s interactive map.