Why the number of coronavirus infections in Virginia is considered relatively low

Many people infected with the coronavirus may not show symptoms, but Virginia now has an idea about how many residents have unknowingly carried and potentially exposed others to the disease.

Preliminary results from the Virginia Coronavirus Serology Project show about 2.4% of adults in Virginia carry antibodies, indicating they had COVID-19 at a time in the past.

“This is about what I would have expected; the prevalence of the disease is relatively low,” state Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver said during a Wednesday teleconference.

Relatively low infection numbers aren’t necessarily good news though.

“The big take-away from this, of course, is that the overwhelming majority, a very large portion of the population of the Commonwealth, is still vulnerable to infection; and we must continue to take precautionary measures,” Oliver said.

Other preliminary findings are that the infection rate in the Latino community is about three times higher than experienced in other ethnic communities, and antibodies vary by region, age and ethnicity.

There’s no word yet on when more thorough results from the study, done in collaboration with the
University of Virginia, might become available.

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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