By Randy Arrington
LURAY, July 8 — After a spike in Virginia around Memorial Day, the numbers related to tracking the COVID-19 pandemic began to subside in early June. However, since that time, the pandemic has proven to be mostly a see-saw ride, with numbers going up for two or three days, and then falling for two or three days.
Overall, the numbers have generally subsided from where they were in May, but COVID-19 has shown no signs of going away.
Currently, Page County is in an upswing, with 10 new cases reported so far this week. The Virginia Department of Health reported three new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, five on Tuesday and two on Monday. However, among those new cases, there was only one new hospitalization (reported Tuesday). Page County has not seen a new fatality related to the pandemic since June 2.
ZIP code date has not been updated by VDH to include the three new cases reported in the county on Wednesday. However, the previous nine cases (not broken down by ZIP code in PVN’s last update) show that the Town of Shenandoah had seven of those nine cases, with one each in Luray and Stanley.
The Town of Shenandoah has jumped from 44 cases of COVID-19 to 51 since July 4.
A current breakdown of COVID-19 cases and testing in Page County (as of July 7) by ZIP code is as follows (this does not include the three cases reported Wednesday):
- 22835 (Luray) — 161 cases, 710 tests, 22.7% positivity rate;
- 22851 (Stanley) — 74 cases, 283 tests, 26.1% positivity rate;
- 22849 (Shenandoah) — 51 cases, 329 tests, 15.5% positivity rate.
The 22650 ZIP code (Rileyville) data on new cases remains suppressed by VDH because of the low number of cases and the small population in that area. The state suppresses data in these areas in order to protect patients’ privacy. The last data available (July 7) shows that 26 people in the 22650 area have been tested for COVID-19. That’s up three since the last report.
While Shenandoah’s positivity rate continues to slightly increase as Luray and Stanley decline, it should be noted that the level of testing is not significant enough to give a true positivity rate for the entire community in those areas.
The Lord Fairfax Health District is also on an upswing, with 25 new cases of COVID-19 reported since Monday. Frederick County lead the district with nine new cases, but Page County was a close second with eight new cases in two days. Three new cases were reported in Shenandoah and Warren counties, while two surfaced in Clarke County. The City of Winchester has not reported a new case of the coronavirus in three days.
Among those new cases, the health district reported four new hospitalizations in two days, with one each in Clarke (reported Wednesday), Page (Tuesday), Shenandoah (Tuesday) and Winchester (Wednesday). The district has not reported a new fatality related to the coronavirus in three days.
A cumulative breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 2,118 cases of COVID-19 is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 601 — Shenandoah County (67-34)
- 529 — Frederick County (42-6)
- 334 — City of Winchester (25-3)
- 302 — Warren County (18-8)
- 293 — Page County (30-23)
- 59 — Clarke County (6-0)
Harrisonburg and Rockingham County have both seen an increase in new cases of COVID-19 in the last two days. Harrisonburg added six, while Rockingham reported 14. Among those new cases were two hospitalizations reported in Rockingham on Wednesday. One new pandemic death was reported in Harrisonburg on Tuesday.
Statewide, new cases are also on an upswing, with 635 reported Wednesday and 638 reported on Tuesday. While 600-plus new cases in a single day has marked the high end of the up-and-down stats fluctuating throughout June — Virginia has reported more than 600 new cases of COVID-19 on five of the last six days.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported Wednesday that 971 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure is up 188 since Monday — a 24-percent increase.
Among those hospitalized, 230 are in intensive care, according to VHHA — up 36 since Monday, or 18.6 percent. Currently, there are 98 patients statewide on ventilators — that figure is up 12 since Monday, a 14-percent increase.
Since the pandemic began, VHHA also reports that 9,011 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.
On Wednesday, VDH reported 24 new deaths in Virginia related to the pandemic. That followed 28 fatalities reported on Tuesday. The two-day jump of 52 deaths followed a three-day stretch in which only eight deaths were reported by the state.
A total of 1,905 deaths have occurred in Virginia from the pandemic since the first COVID-19 death was reported in the state on March 14.