By Randy Arrington
LURAY, May 23 — After a fairly calm week, Page County saw a rise in all categories of Saturday’s COVID-19 report from the Virginia Department of Health.
Page County now has a total of 21 fatalities attributed to the pandemic, with two new deaths reported Saturday morning. With five of the top six highest COVID-19 death tolls in the state sitting in Northern Virginia, Page County is now tied for ninth (with Harrisonburg) for the highest number of deaths related to the pandemic in Virginia. If the death toll is based on population (per capita), then Page ranks No. 1.
Efforts to reach the management of Skyview Springs Rehab and Nursing Center were unsuccessful this morning. As of Thursday, Jill Irby, the administrator of the Luray nursing home, reported 18 deaths of Skyview residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 since April 21.
Health officials have provided no additional data about the two new virus-related deaths due to strict privacy laws protecting patients.
On Saturday, Page County also saw its biggest, one-day increase in new cases since April 25, when 52 new cases were reported after mass testing at Skyview Springs.
Fourteen new cases of COVID-19 were reported today, bringing Page’s cumulative total to 186. The county’s first case was reported on March 31. Saturday’s new cases included one hospitalization.
A ZIP code breakdown provided by VDH shows that 13 of the new cases that surfaced on Saturday were in the Luray area (or 22835 ZIP code area), while one new case was reported in the Stanley area (22851 ZIP code area).
As of Saturday, here is the current ZIP code breakdown for COVID-19 cases and testing in Page County:
- ZIP code 22835 (Luray) — 119 cases (up 13), 265 tested (up eight);
- ZIP code 22851 (Stanley) — 51 cases (up one), 116 tested (up one);
- ZIP code 22849 (Shenandoah) — 11 cases (no change), 96 tested (up two).
- ZIP code 22650 (Rileyville) — [Cases suppressed by VDH due to low number of cases and low population to protect patient’s privacy], 12 tested (up one from previous day).
The Lord Fairfax Health District saw 34 new cases spread across the district on Saturday. Page had the most with 14, followed by seven each in Winchester and Shenandoah County, and six in Frederick County. Two of the district’s four new hospitalizations were found in Winchester, with one each in Frederick and Page counties.
A total of six new pandemic-related deaths were reported in the health district on Saturday, with four occurring in Shenandoah County.
Clarke and Warren counties saw no changes in their COVID-19 numbers today.
A breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 1,065 total cases is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 365 — Shenandoah County (34-16)
- 255 — Frederick County (21-3)
- 186 — Page County (21-21)
- 128 — City of Winchester (9-1)
- 110 — Warren County (12-2)
- 21 — Clarke County (3-0)
Harrisonburg only saw five new cases overnight, with none hospitalized and no new deaths. The Friendly City has seen a total of 709 COVID-19 cases, with 51 hospitalizations and 21 deaths. Rockingham County reported eight new cases on Saturday (for a total of 452), with no new hospitalizations or deaths.
Statewide, 799 new cases were reported by VDH on Saturday. This represents a second day of decreases in new cases across the state. However, a clear pattern in new cases of COVID-19 in Virginia is hard to determine during May as the daily total has fluctuated — from a high of 1,229 on May 21; to a low of 705 on May 17.
Here’s a look at new reported cases in Virginia for each day of May (please note that May 7 is a two-day report* because VDH did not issue a report on May 6):
- 1,055 — May 1
- 830 — May 2
- 940 — May 3
- 821 — May 4
- 764 — May 5
- 1,314 — May 7*
- 772 — May 8
- 854 — May 9
- 885 — May 10
- 989 — May 11
- 730 — May 12
- 946 — May 13
- 1,067 — May 14
- 859 — May 15
- 1,011 — May 16
- 705 — May 17
- 752 — May 18
- 1,005 — May 19
- 763 — May 20
- 1,229 — May 21
- 813 — May 22
- 799 — May 23
For the entire month of May, Virginia has neither seen a true decline or rise in new cases of COVID-19 and is listed by the CDC among about 17 states considered “steady”. Only nine states in the country are showing increases in cases of the novel coronavirus, while 24 states are considered in decline.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported on Saturday that 1,384 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure is down 75 from yesterday and down 152 over three days. Among those hospitalized, 330 are in intensive care (down 36 from yesterday) and 213 are on ventilators (up six).
Since the pandemic began, VHHA also reports that 5,047 people have been discharged from state hospitals after being tested, confirmed and treated for COVID-19.
VDH reported another 23 deaths in Virginia related to the pandemic on Saturday. That brings the state’s total to 1,159 fatalities since the first COVID-19 death was reported on March 14.