By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Dec. 6 — As health officials expected, the number of new COVID-19 cases being reported across the county, region and state has increased following the Thanksgiving holiday. However, the number of vaccinations being administered is up, the number of pandemic deaths being reported has tapered off, and despite being in double-digits Page County currently is reporting the lowest positivity rate in the health district.
The Virginia Department of Health has reported 75 new cases of COVID-19 in Page County since Nov. 29, including 32 cases over the weekend. A total of 56 cases were reported the previous week. This past week’s total marks the highest weekly count since early October.
Page County’s positivity rate has fallen to 11.6 percent as of Monday, after being reported at 14.4 percent a week ago. The county also saw five hospitalizations and one COVID-related death over the past seven days. VDH reported Page County’s 89th pandemic death on Friday.
Page County Public Schools has reported 265 cases of COVID-19 within its buildings since opening on Aug. 23, (19 cases reported since last Monday). Of those recent cases, 19 are still active (as of Dec. 6) with 14 cases among students and five among staff.
The Lord Fairfax Health District has reported 882 new cases of COVID-19 over the last seven days — up from 550 cases the previous week. Every jurisdiction within the health district showed increases in new cases this past week. Below is a breakdown of new cases reported since Nov. 29 and each localities’ positivity rate within the health district:
• 325 — Frederick County — 15.7%
• 180 — Shenandoah County — 18.5%
• 156 — Warren County — 16.7%
• 96 — City of Winchester — 14.4%
• 75 — Page County — 11.6%
• 50 — Clarke County — 15.1%
The health district reported 23 hospitalizations related to COVID over the past seven days (20 the previous week) and six related deaths (13 previous week). Frederick County reported three virus-related deaths this past week, while Clarke, Page and Winchester each had one.
Over the past week, Virginia has averaged 2,264 new cases of COVID-19 per day — up from 1,377 the previous week. Statewide hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have risen a third-straight week to 1,077. Currently, 247 patients are in intensive care being treated for COVID, with 127 on ventilators.
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate rose a third-consecutive week to 7.6 percent, after being reported at 6.1 percent last Monday.
Virginia reported 87 deaths related to COVID-19 over the past seven days, down for a third-straight week from 136 last week and 156 the week prior. The commonwealth has reported a total of 14,771 deaths from COVID-19 since March 14, 2020.
A total of 758 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered in Page County over the past week — up from 445 the previous week. As of Monday’s report by VDH, a cumulative total of 24,405 vaccinations have been given locally, with 11,808 people in the county receiving at least one dose and 10,803 fully vaccinated (or 45.2 percent of the population). A total of 2,748 in the county have received a third shot or booster for the COVID-19 vaccine (14.3 percent of the adult population in the county). About half of the COVID-19 vaccinations administered in Page County over the past week (383) were booster shots.
Statewide, Virginia has administered nearly 13 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 6.4 million receiving at least one dose and 5.6 million individuals, or 77 percent of the adult population, being fully vaccinated. More than 1.4 million Virginians have received a third “booster” dose of the vaccine.
Unvaccinated individuals and those who are not fully vaccinated should continue wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces in accordance with federal CDC guidance.
Vaccines are available by pre-registration and appointment. To pre-register, or to update your pre-registration record, visit www.vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (1-877-829-4682). English- and Spanish-speaking operators are available. Translation services also are available, in more than 100 languages. For TTY, dial 7-1-1.