By Randy Arrington
LURAY, May 19 — On Sunday, another resident of Skyview Springs Rehab and Nursing Center died from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Luray nursing home has now had 17 residents die from the novel coronavirus since April 25.
All 17 residents of the longterm care facility were confirmed to have COVID-19 and have died within the last 24 days. The first case was discovered at the facility on April 21. The next day, all residents and staff were tested, resulting in 59 residents and 18 staff testing positive.
As of Tuesday morning, two residents of Skyview Springs were hospitalized for COVID-19 at Winchester Medical Center, according to Skyview’s administrator Jill Irby.
However, Irby also shared some positive news that 35 residents of the facility have now “recovered” from the virus.
No other cases of COVID-19 have been reported at any other local nursing homes or assisted living facilities. However, long-term care facilities have been at the center of the fight against this virus.
On Tuesday, the Virginia Department of Health reported that nearly 60 percent of all outbreaks in the state had occurred at longterm care facilities — 183 of 307 total outbreaks. These facilities, which care for the most vulnerable, have also accounted for nearly 60 percent of the deaths related to the COVID-19 pandemic — 614 of 1,041 total fatalities in the state.
In contrast to the fatality rate, longterm care facilities have only accounted for about 13 percent of the reported COVID-19 cases — 4,223 of 32,145 total cases in Virginia.
On April 10, Governor Ralph Northam formed a special task force to specifically address the problems at longterm care facilities. That effort included state health officials teaming up with the National Guard to administer mass testing.
New data provided by VDH shows that 13 outbreaks in longterm care facilities were reported across the state on April 24 — the same day that test results came back for the 226 people (residents and staff) tested at Skyview Springs.
A breakdown of outbreaks reported within the Lord Fairfax Health District is as follows:
- 7 — Longterm care facilities;
- 5 — Congregate settings;
- 3 — Healthcare facilities;
- 0 — Educational settings;
- 0 — Correctional facilities;
- 0 — Other.
On Tuesday morning, VDH also reported four new cases of COVID-19 in Page County, bringing the cumulative total to 165. However, ZIP code breakdowns were not available on Tuesday to further identify where those new cases may be located. No new hospitalizations were reported in the county.
The five-county health district reported 37 new cases on Tuesday, with eight hospitalized. The new cases were spread across the district with 12 in Winchester, 10 in Shenandoah, six in Frederick, four each in Warren and Page, and one in Clarke.
Winchester and Frederick County also accounted for six of the eight hospitalizations, with two in Shenandoah. A breakdown by jurisdiction of total cases within the health district is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 329 — Shenandoah County (30-12)
- 223 — Frederick County (19-3)
- 165 — Page County (19-17)
- 103 — Warren County (11-2)
- 96 — City of Winchester (7-1)
- 19 — Clarke County (2-0)
Harrisonburg saw 14 new cases surface overnight, while Rockingham County reported four. There were only three hospitalizations between the two jurisdictions. However, Rockingham reported three new deaths.
Fairfax County continues to lead the state in all categories by a wide margin. On Tuesday, Fairfax became the first locality in Virginia to surpass 8,000 cases of COVID-19 — more than double the second-highest case count of 3,934 in Prince William County. Fairfax has also seen triple the hospitalizations of the next highest locality, at 1,113 — and more than double the deaths, at 292.
Statewide, 1,005 new cases were reported by VDH Tuesday morning. While new cases were averaging around 850 per day for about two weeks, Tuesday marked the third time in six days that the daily increase in new cases surpassed 1,000.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported on Tuesday morning that 1,497 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure shows a modest two-day decline. Among those hospitalized, 377 are in intensive care (up 16 from yesterday) and 199 are on ventilators (up five).
VHHA also reports that 4,271 have been discharged from state hospitals after being treated for COVID-19.
After two consecutive days in the single digits, the state health department reported 27 new deaths related to the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday. That brings the total virus-related deaths in Virginia to 1,041. The first COVID-19 fatality in the state was reported on March 14.