Variants of Concern

As a reminder: All data are preliminary and subject to change.

Dashboard Updated: Weekly on Friday

Viruses constantly change through mutation. A variant has one or more mutations that sets it apart from other variants in circulation. Variants of a virus are expected to occur naturally over time. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19. Multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 have been documented in Virginia, the United States and globally throughout this pandemic. Scientists categorize variants based on how concerning they are. Other variants that are not presently of concern are circulating in the population. Visit SARS-CoV-2 Variant Classifications and Definitions for more information on variant classification.

A variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 is considered to be concerning when it increases the risk to human health. The risk to human health could be because a variant may be able to:

  • Spread more easily
  • Cause more severe illness
  • Escape the immune protection provided by available COVID-19 vaccines or by natural infection with the virus that causes COVID-19
  • Make viral tests less accurate
  • Make some treatments less effective

Click here for more information on Variants of the Virus that Causes COVID-19.

This dashboard lists the number of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths caused by a variant of concern reported in Virginia since December 1, 2020. Variants are identified by additional laboratory testing of specimens positive for COVID-19. Types of variants of concern are presented by the region and by the health district where the person infected by a variant of concern lives. This dashboard also includes demographic information including age group, ethnicity and race, and sex. If an individual person is infected with two separate variants over time, then they will appear as two separate infections on this dashboard.

Only variants currently listed on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Variants of Concern website will be included on this dashboard. Data presented here will not match exactly to the data presented by CDC.