By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Nov. 18 — For the third consecutive day, the Virginia Department of Health reported more than 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 statewide on Wednesday; something it’s only done five times during the pandemic, four in November.
For the third time in the last five days, the Lord Fairfax Health District set a new record for coronavirus cases. On Sunday, the district reported 80 new cases of the virus, topping the old record of 73 reported on April 25 and again on May 28. On Tuesday, the health district saw 113 new cases surface, marking the first time the daily count had exceeded the century mark. Then on Wednesday, the district set another daily record, reporting 174 new cases of COVID-19.
Frederick County is clearly the “hot spot” of the region, with 147 new cases of the coronavirus reported in the last two days — including a record-setting 88 on Wednesday. That’s the highest one-day total for any of the six jurisdictions within the health district. In addition to the 88 new cases, Wednesday’s report also showed five new hospitalizations and one new death in the county as well. It was Frederick’s 17th death related to COVID-19.
The county seat of Winchester added another 29 cases on Wednesday, but the city has not reported a new hospitalization in five days and has not seen a COVID-related death since July 15.
Shenandoah County reported 26 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, with one new hospitalization — the county’s second of the week. Shenandoah also reported its 62nd fatality from the coronavirus on Tuesday.
Warren County saw 16 cases of COVID-19 surface overnight, with two hospitalizations also reported on Wednesday. After reporting 18 fatalities due to the pandemic in October, Warren has only seen three COVID-19 deaths in November.
Page County reported eight new cases of the virus on Wednesday — the highest one-day total in the county since Oct. 28. ZIP code data provided by the VDH website shows that four those cases surfaced in the Luray area (22835), while two were reported in the Stanley area (22851) and two in the Shenandoah area (22849). Page reported a new hospitalization on Monday, but has not seen a death related to the pandemic since Oct. 28.
Clarke County reported seven new cases on Wednesday, with no hospitalizations in the last four days and no deaths in 10 days.
A cumulative breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 5,115 reported cases, 401 hospitalizations and 140 deaths is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 1,646 — Frederick County (111-17)
- 1,225 — Shenandoah County (112-62)
- 818 — City of Winchester (48-4)
- 724 — Warren County (53-24)
- 535 — Page County (58-31)
- 167 — Clarke County (19-2)
After reporting a combined 62 cases on Tuesday, Harrisonburg and Rockingham County reported 17 cases of COVID-19 collectively on Wednesday. Harrisonburg has not reported a hospitalization or death in the last four days. Rockingham reported two deaths on Tuesday.
Statewide, 2,071 cases of COVID-19 were reported on Wednesday. Nearly 7,000 new cases have been reported in Virginia since Monday. The state’s seven-day positivity rate actually dropped slightly to 7.1 percent on Wednesday, but still remains at its highest levels in months.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported on Wednesday that 1,469 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That’s the highest level since May 30. It also represents an increase of 77 from yesterday, and an increase of 295 in the past eight days.
Among those hospitalized, 318 are currently in intensive care being treated for COVID-19 statewide, according to VHHA — the highest level since June 6, and up 46 from yesterday. Currently, there are 126 COVID-19 patients statewide on ventilators — up 23 from yesterday.
Since the pandemic hit Virginia, VHHA reports that 22,594 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.
The state health department reported 25 new deaths from the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, after reporting 29 on Tuesday — the highest one-day toll in the state since Sept. 23. A total of 3,860 people in Virginia have died from COVID-19 since March 14.