Prince William County now a COVID-19 hot spot as cases surge

In Northern Virginia, there's a new hot spot for the coronavirus and health leaders are explaining why.

Virginia's positivity rate is approaching 11 percent, but Prince William County now has a test positivity rate close to 16 percent. The county’s epidemiologist says several factors are to blame.

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County health leaders are reminding residents to wear masks, socially distance, wash their hands and stay home this holiday season.

We’re told the newest numbers do indicate a surge but say it’s the same surge happening across the country and the trajectory is in line with the rest of the state.

• Prince William County’s coronavirus percent positivity rate is 15.8.
• The state average is 10.9.
• The county’s 7-day average for new cases is 38.3 percent for every 100-thousand residents.
• The state average is 38.0.

Prince William County’s epidemiologist Sean Morris is tracking coronavirus cases for the county. He says targeted testing in higher case count areas is one of the top contributing factors.

“So the first aspect is our targeting testing, higher case count areas and also the population of our health district,” said Morris.

Morris also says socioeconomics and a language barrier in some predominantly Latino communities is also a contributing factor in rising coronavirus numbers but not a main cause.

There was mixed reaction Tuesday from residents.

The county says right now it’s focusing on compliance instead of enforcement of mitigation measures at restaurants and businesses.

They also tell FOX 5 they’re monitoring the data daily and no one metric is used to determine if there will be more restrictions put into place.