As COVID-19 climbs in Virginia, Shenandoah Valley remains relatively calm

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COVID-19 Coronavirus in Page County, Virginia
Page Valley News will have continuing coverage of the Coronavirus' impact on Page County.

By Randy Arrington

LURAY, July 27 — Despite a statewide increase of 1,505 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Virginia on Monday, the Lord Fairfax Health District only had 10.

The Virginia Department of Health has reported a total of 33 new cases of the novel coronavirus within the local health district since Friday. Frederick County reported the highest number of new cases, with 13, while the county seat of Winchester added seven. Each of those jurisdictions reported one new hospitalization on Saturday.

However, Friday showed a one-day spike within the health district with 23 new cases of COVID-19 reported in a single day. Frederick County once again showed the highest number of new cases, with 12. Shenandoah County accounted for nine.

Shenandoah County has slowed its new case count, with only three reported over the weekend. Seven cases earlier attributed to the county have been subtracted from their cumulative total over the past week, as well as two hospitalizations, after being found to not be COVID-19.

Warren County has reported six new cases since Friday, while Clarke and Page counties have remained fairly quiet over the past three days. Page saw three new cases, while Clarke reported one.

Along with Frederick County and Winchester, Page County also reported a new hospitalization on Saturday. Two of Page’s three recent cases were reported on Saturday — the other on Monday.

Both Page and Shenandoah counties have reported deaths related to COVID-19 in the past week. Shenandoah County reported two deaths last Tuesday, followed by Page with one new death reported on Thursday. The two counties have reported the highest number of coronavirus fatalities in the health district — Page with 24, and Shenandoah with 40. Both counties have experienced deadly outbreaks of COVID-19 in longterm care facilities.

Shenandoah County is home to 13 of the health district’s 37 longterm care facilities. Outbreaks of COVID-19 have occurred in five of those facilities, leading to 33 of the county’s 40 reported deaths due to the pandemic. A late April outbreak in Skyview Springs Rehab and Nursing facility in Luray lead to 21 of Page County’s reported 24 deaths due to COVID-19.

Within the six jurisdictions in the health district, 45 of the reported 82 deaths during the current pandemic occurred in patients age 80 and above. There have been no reported deaths in the health district from COVID-19 below age 30.

A cumulative breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 2,427 reported cases, 210 hospitalizations and 82 deaths is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):

  • 660 — Shenandoah County (70-40)
  • 639 — Frederick County (47-7)
  • 390 — City of Winchester (28-4)
  • 345 — Warren County (22-7)
  • 329 — Page County (36-24)
  • 64 — Clarke County (7-0)

The City of Harrisonburg has added 10 cases of COVID-19 since Friday, while Rockingham County reported 19 new cases in three days. Neither reported any new hospitalizations or deaths. Those numbers for both have remained unchanged for five days.

Statewide, the number of new cases has exceeded 1,000 for four of the last six days. After reporting 1,022 new cases last Wednesday, Virginia saw 1,127 new cases on Friday and 1,245 on Saturday. On Monday, the state health department reported 1,505 new cases of the coronavirus.

In the past seven days, Virginia has added 7,697 new cases of COVID-19, or about 9 percent of the total cases reported in Virginia since mid-February. With nearly half of new cases coming from the heavily populated Tidewater Region (specifically Hampton Roads), state health officials have estimated that the Old Dominion could reach 15,000 new cases per week by early September.

About one-third of the health districts in the state are showing sustained growth in new cases, according to Virginia’s Biocomplexity Institute at the University of Virginia. However, as new cases rise, the pace of new hospitalizations in Virginia has subsided over the last three days, dropping from a high of 86 on Thursday to 54 reported Monday.

The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported Monday that 1,200 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure is up 26 since yesterday, after dropping 27 on Sunday.

Among those hospitalized, 260 are in intensive care, according to VHHA — down eight since yesterday. Currently, there are 140 COVID-19 patients statewide on ventilators. That figure has remained fairly steady over the past six days.

Since the pandemic began, VHHA also reports that 10,940 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.

VDH only reported four new deaths statewide on Monday, after reporting three on Sunday and eight on Saturday. A total of 2,082 people statewide have died during the pandemic since March 14.

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