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Health officials say COVID-19 cases are expected to rise in Virginia ahead of holidays

Cases from the Delta Variant are rising in unvaccinated people

Cases could be rising to rates we saw back during the Delta variant surge, according to health officials.

ROANOKE, Va. – Health officials are urging Virginians to be safe if they plan on being around their family or friends this holiday season.

Cases could be rising to rates we saw back during the Delta variant surge.

Virginia’s State Health Commissioner Dr. Norm Oliver said a majority of the new cases we are seeing are the Delta variant in unvaccinated people. This also comes as more people in Virginia are also getting the flu.

Oliver said the best way to protect yourself and your family this holiday season is to get your vaccine.

“We can expect to see the numbers to continue to increase in the winter months. But again, the way to best protect yourself from that is to get vaccinated,” Oliver said.

According to the University of Virginia’s predictive model, the surge in Omicron cases will likely come in January and be higher than the surge we have seen from the Delta variant.

A new recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control said you should opt for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine instead of Johnson and Johnson. This change is because of a concern over potential blood clots from the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

While the chance is relatively low, health leaders say it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Millions of doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine are administered in the country, but only about 54 cases of the rare blood clotting were reported. Virginia’s State Health Commissioner said the chances are higher for people ages 18-40, adding that this recommendation is coming just as a precaution.

“People who have been vaccinated already with J&J should know that that vaccine is effective against COVID-19. The blood clotting disorder occurs relatively soon after getting the vaccinations,” Oliver said.

Dr. Oliver said the chances of a blood clot are significantly lower if you’ve had your shot of Johnson and Johnson for a few weeks.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.