Lord Fairfax Health District hits new pandemic peak

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

By Randy Arrington

LURAY, Nov. 9 — Over the past seven days, the Lord Fairfax Health District has seen its highest influx of new cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic first hit the region in March.

During the pandemic’s first regional peak around Memorial Day, the district’s daily case count from May 27-30 was 71, 73, 42 and 53. The total of 239 still stands as the highest four-day case count in the health district. The number of new cases began to dissipate within only a few days during that first wave, soon dropping back to single digits.

However, the current sustained upward trend in new cases of COVID-19 across the region began on Oct. 8. It has never dropped below 22 new cases in single day for more than a month. Four of the past seven days have seen 50 or more new cases of COVID-19 reported within the health district.

Extending the May 27-30 case count by three days would generate a seven-day total of 321. Over the past week, the health district has reported 325 new cases of COVID-19.

The district first reported its one-day high of 73 new cases on April 25 — when Page County accounted for 52 cases due mostly to an outbreak at Skyview Nursing and Rehab Center in Luray. While the district has not seen daily counts at that level, the Virginia Department of Health did report 59 new cases in the district on Saturday and 54 on Monday.

While the bulk of new COVID-19 cases continues to surface in Frederick and Shenandoah counties, the new wave is spread somewhat throughout the district’s six localities.

Frederick County has reported 53 new cases since Friday, while Winchester added another 24. Shenandoah County has reported 36 new cases in the last three days, while Warren County had 16.

The state health department has reported nine new cases of COVID-19 in Page County since Friday. According to ZIP code data provided by VDH, most of Page’s recent cases have surfaced in the Luray area (22835). 

Despite the continued influx of new cases of the coronavirus, Page County has not seen a new hospitalization in four days (only one in the past week — reported Thursday); and no deaths related to the pandemic have been reported since Oct. 29.

Page County’s current 14-day positivity rate is sitting at 4.3 percent, according to School Metrics data on the VDH website — its lowest mark in several weeks.

Frederick County has reported the most hospitalizations in the health district since Friday, with five; while Shenandoah County had three.

Three deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported within the health district in the past five days — two in Frederick County (Thursday and Friday) and one in Clarke County (Sunday). For Frederick, it was the 14th and 15th pandemic deaths, while Clarke reported only its second.

A cumulative breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 4,459 reported cases, 367 hospitalizations and 135 deaths is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):

  • 1,342 — Frederick County (97-15)
  • 1,103 — Shenandoah County (107-61)
  • 704 — City of Winchester (46-4)
  • 665 — Warren County (49-22)
  • 506 — Page County (53-31)
  • 139 — Clarke County (15-2)

Harrisonburg and Rockingham County combined to report 20 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, and each reported one new hospitalization over the weekend.

Statewide, 1,302 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Monday. The same figure was reported on Sunday, after Virginia’s record high of 2,103 new cases was reported on Saturday. Over the past seven days, 10,059 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported statewide — the highest week since the pandemic began.

Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate rose to 6.1 percent on Monday, after remaining below 5 percent for most of October.

The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported Monday that 1,127 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That represents the highest level since Sept. 3.

Among those hospitalized, 214 are currently in intensive care being treated for COVID-19 statewide, according to VHHA — up 12 from yesterday. Currently, there are 98 COVID-19 patients statewide on ventilators — up eight from yesterday.

Since the pandemic hit Virginia, VHHA reports that 21,618 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.

The state health department reported six COVID-19 deaths on Monday, and only three on Sunday. The state’s daily death toll has slowed dramatically over the past 10 days. Since the pandemic began, a total of 3,713 people in Virginia have died from COVID-19.

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