By Randy Arrington
LURAY, May 13 — The Virginia Department of Health’s report on Wednesday morning now matches reports from a Luray nursing home that at least 16 people in Page County have died from the COVID-19 pandemic.
After reporting 14 fatalities on Monday with no change over the weekend, Jill Irby, administrator of Skyview Springs Rehab and Nursing Center, said on Tuesday that 16 residents of the longterm care facility have now died from the virus.
After lagging behind in reporting those fatalities, VDH reported a cumulative total of 16 deaths related to COVID-19 in Page County on Wednesday morning. However, there is no way to verify (publicly) if all 16 deaths reported by the state are in fact those 16 residents of Skyview. Both the public and private sectors of healthcare are bound by strict privacy laws regarding patients.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported at Skyview Springs on April 21. The next day 109 residents and 117 staff members were tested for the virus, with 59 residents and 18 staff members testing positive.
Two residents of Skyview Springs confirmed to have COVCID-19 are currently hospitalized at Winchester Medical Center.
Ten staff members have returned to work at the nursing home, with the rest expected back soon, according to Irby.
In addition to four new deaths, Page County also saw 11 new cases and six new hospitalizations reported on Wednesday. That brings the county’s cumulative totals to 140 reported cases of COVID-19, with 19 hospitalized and 16 deaths. Page’s first case was reported on March 31.
The 11 new cases reported in the county comes after a three-day stretch in which only one new case surfaced. However, after a brief reprieve, Page County now sits at the top of the five-county health district for COVID-19 deaths, while coming in second in hospitalizations and third in total cases.
The Lord Fairfax Health District reported 34 new cases on Wednesday; 11 of those in Page County. The district saw eight new hospitalizations; six in Page. Of the five new deaths reported; four were in Page.
The health district’s COVID-19 death toll stands at 28, with the majority reported in Page (16) and Shenandoah (8) counties.
Shenandoah County also reported 11 new cases on Wednesday and still leads the district in total cases, with 271. Frederick County reported seven new cases. A breakdown by jurisdiction of total cases reported within the health district is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 271 — Shenandoah County (23-8)
- 182 — Frederick County (15-2)
- 140 — Page County (19-16)
- 88 — Warren County (10-1)
- 73 — City of Winchester (3-1)
- 16 — Clarke County (2-0)
Harrisonburg saw 34 new cases reported Wednesday morning, with another 23 in Rockingham County. There were 10 new hospitalizations between the two jurisdictions, but no new deaths were reported.
Statewide, 946 new cases were reported by VDH on Wednesday. While reopening guidelines seek a 14-day decline in the daily increase of new cases, Virginia has exceeded its 14-day average for new cases in four of the last five days.
The Commonwealth has averaged 841.8 new cases per day since April 30. Over the past five days, new cases have risen each day by the following increments: 854, 885, 989, 730 and 946.
Virginia’s COVID-19 death toll now totals 927, with 36 new deaths reported Wednesday and 77 in the past two days.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported on Wednesday that 1,526 people are currently hospitalized statewide who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. Among them, 374 are in intensive care and 202 are on ventilators. All of those figures represent slight increases.
The VHHA also reports that 3,554 people who were confirmed to have COVID-19 and hospitalized, have now been discharged.
Statewide testing jumped considerably, with nearly 9,000 people in Virginia being tested for COVID-19 just yesterday.
Fairfax County continues to lead the state with 6,666 total reported cases of COVID-19, 999 hospitalized and 262 deaths.