ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) says COVID-19 diagnoses at emergency departments and urgent care facilities have doubled since the last month.

According to reports, a new strand of the virus, EG.5 is growing across the U.S. and potentially fueling new growth globally. Although hospital admissions currently remain level and viral loads in wastewater systems are in a plateau, COVID hospitalization has increased. The report estimates virus reproductive numbers are growing for the first time since March.

By the end of the week ending on August 5, 1% of emergency department visits were diagnosed with COVID-19. This was approximately 33.3% higher than the previous week.

The department says immunizations for COVID-19, flu, and RSV should be available before the start of respiratory illness season. Officials say flu and RSV shots will reach pharmacies in mid-August, and COVID-19 boosters by early October.

For more information, visit the VDH website.