Little change in local COVID data, new cases continue as vaccinations increase slowly

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Vaccination Update
Page Valley News will have continuing coverage of the vaccination efforts in our community.

By Randy Arrington

LURAY, March 22 — Page County has seen little change in COVID-19 data over the past week. New cases continue to trickle in, along with reports of more hospitalizations and deaths. The positivity rate, while slightly up, has been steady. However, the number of vaccinations being distributed locally, seems to be at a trickle as well.

The number of fully vaccinated individuals in Page County increased by only 88 in the last seven days. The Virginia Department of Health reported that 3,562 people in Page were fully vaccinated as of Monday, March 22. This morning, VDH reported that figure at 3,650.

However, by comparison, the health district’s most populated jurisdiction, Frederick County, has increased its number of fully vaccinated residents by only 356 since last Monday. After gaining speed in the initial weeks, the vaccine rollout has slowed its pace, even as the new Johnson and Johnson version began being distributed across the Shenandoah Valley earlier this month.

The state health department reported today that 8,223 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Page County, with 4,935 residents receiving at least one dose and 3,650 fully vaccinated. That means about 15 percent of the county is fully vaccinated, while almost 21 percent have received at least one dose.

Here’s a breakdown of vaccinations across the health district:

• Frederick County — 19,383 receiving at least one dose and 13,472 fully vaccinated;

• Shenandoah County — 10,958 receiving at least one dose and 7,488 fully vaccinated;

• Warren County — 7,127 receiving at least one dose and 5,229 fully vaccinated;

• City of Winchester — 6,551 receiving at least one dose and 4,438 fully vaccinated;

• Page County — 4,935 receiving at least one dose and 3,650 fully vaccinated;

• Clarke County — 3,754 receiving at least one dose and 2,809 fully vaccinated.

Page County reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Monday — something that’s happened only three times since mid-November. However, the county saw 20 new cases reported over the last week, four more than the previous week — and seven of those were reported on Friday. The new cases reported over the last week were spread evenly throughout the county, according to ZIP code data provided by VDH:

• 7 cases — Stanley area (22851);

• 6 cases — Luray area (22835);

• 5 cases — Shenandoah area (22849);

• 2 cases — Rileyville area (22650).

Page County reported two new hospitalizations due to the virus over the last week, with a total of 103 since the pandemic began over a year ago. On Wednesday, the county reported its 57th death due to COVID-19, with more than 40 percent of those deaths (24) reported since Jan. 6.

Page County’s seven-day positivity rate is currently 6.2 percent. The rate has remained steady over the last week between 5 to 7 percent, and has remained below the 10-percent threshold for the entire month of March. Here’s a breakdown of seven-day positivity rates across the Lord Fairfax Health District:

• 10.2% — Clarke County;

• 8.1% — Shenandoah County and the City of Winchester;

• 7.3% — Warren County;

• 6.2% — Page County;

• 4.7% — Frederick County.

The Lord Fairfax Health District reported 35 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and has averaged around 50 daily over the last week, with a high of 74 on Friday and a low of 27 on Sunday. There have been nine new hospitalizations reported across the district in the past week and two deaths (Page and Warren counties).

Statewide, new cases of COVID-19 are narrowing to just over 1,000 per day, while statewide hospitalizations dropped below 1,000 over the weekend for the first time since mid-October, according to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. ICU bed occupancy has dropped to 74 percent from the nearly 90 percent rate it reached at the height of the winter surge, and statewide ventilator use has dropped from a height of nearly 40 percent down to 28 percent.

Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate has been steady over the last 12 days and is currently 5.6 percent.

The Commonwealth is currently averaging 49,912 doses of the COVID-19 vaccination being administered daily, with a total of more than 3.1 million administered as of Monday. That includes just over 2 million who have received at least one dose (about 24.2 percent of the population), and more than 1.1 million who have been fully vaccinated.

The Lord Fairfax Health District announced on Friday that it is expanding vaccination registration to include all people who fall into Virginia’s Phase 1c including other essential workers in energy, water, wastewater and waste removal, housing and construction, food service, transportation and logistics, institutions of higher learning, finance, information technology and communications, media, legal services, public safety and public health. All phases are identified in detail at www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/.

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.

Valley Health is administering COVID-19 vaccinations at four clinics — Winchester, Front Royal, Woodstock and Luray. To register, visit www.valleyhealthlink.com/c19vaccinations.

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