The pace at which these variants are detected is picking up following a boost in federal funding that’s helping increase the capacity for states like Virginia to sequence more testing samples, but the expensive and time-consuming process still accounts for only a fraction of positive tests.
Not every person is getting tested, which means any identified number of variants will be a considerable undercount of the reality.
And as the number of cases in Virginia continues to pick back up in the weeks before Christmas and New Year’s, two holidays that reignited a devastating surge last January, nearly every locality in Virginia is facing high community transmission levels.
On Thursday night, Oliver urged people to continue taking preventative measures such as correctly wearing masks, social distancing and staying home if infected.
“We have very effective vaccines that can interrupt the chain of transmission and reduce the odds that unpredictable mutations like the delta and omicron variants,” Oliver said. “Do your part. Get vaccinated if you are eligible. Get your booster shot if you’re eligible. Vaccination is how Virginia, the U.S. and the world will put this pandemic behind us.”
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