By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Nov. 30 — The Lord Fairfax Health District has seen a significant surge in new cases of COVID-19 that began in mid-October push November’s numbers to the highest levels of the pandemic. All six jurisdictions within the health district have shown dramatic increases over the past few weeks and many have set new daily records in the past seven days.
The Virginia Department of Health reported 217 new cases of COVID-19 within the health district on Monday — a new single-day record. The district has set new records for daily cases four times in November, including the previous record of 192 cases reported on Saturday.
Over the past week, the health district has reported 823 new cases.
For the month of November, the health district saw a:
- 56.5 percent increase in cases of COVID-19, from 4,063 cumulative cases at the end of October, to 6,357 total cases at the end of November — an increase of 2,294 cases in just 30 days. May is the second-highest month for new cases with 980.
- 31 percent increase in hospitalizations, from 336 at the end of October, to 440 at the end of November — an increase of 104. May was again the second-highest month, with 79 hospitalizations reported.
- 9 percent increase in deaths, from a cumulative total of 133 to 145 — a total of 12 deaths in November (both September and October had 20).
Frederick County set a new record on Monday with 119 cases of the coronavirus reported in a single day. That figure came two days after the previous record of 95 cases was reported on Saturday. Frederick has reported a total of 396 new cases in the past seven days, which represents 48 percent of all new cases of COVID-19 within the health district.
Frederick County has also seen eight new hospitalizations in the past seven days. The county’s 18th death due to the pandemic was reported on Thursday.
The City of Winchester reported a record-high 47 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, after reporting 34 cases on Saturday. The city has seen 176 cases in the past week, and became the third jurisdiction within the health district to surpass the 1,000-case mark on Sunday. Winchester has reported four hospitalizations in the past week, but no deaths.
Shenandoah County reported 23 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, and 99 over the last seven days. The county has reported four hospitalizations and no deaths in the past week.
Warren County saw 18 cases of the virus surface on Monday and reported 93 over the past week. The county has had four hospitalizations in the last seven days and reported its 26th death due to the pandemic on Saturday.
Page County reported a recent high of 10 new cases on Saturday and has seen 34 cases in the past week. A ZIP code breakdown of new cases within the county over the past week shows:
- 17 cases — Luray area (22835)
- 8 cases — Stanley area (22851)
- 5 cases — Shenandoah area (22849)
- 4 cases — Rileyville area (22650)
It should be noted that the Rileyville area (22650) had not reported a new case since Oct. 20, before reporting five new cases in the past 10 days.
Page County currently has a 14-day positivity rate of 9.6 percent, according to School Metrics provided by VDH. That puts the county in the “Higher Risk” rating under CDC guidelines for that Core Indicator, while the county’s 14-day incidence rate puts it in the “Highest Risk” CDC rating — along with the vast majority of Virginia.
Page County reported its 32nd death due to COVID-19 on Wednesday, along with the only hospitalization of the week.
A cumulative breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 6,357 reported cases, 440 hospitalizations and 145 deaths is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 2,228 — Frederick County (122-18)
- 1,403 — Shenandoah County (117-62)
- 1,066 — City of Winchester (59-4)
- 859 — Warren County (61-26)
- 593 — Page County (62-32)
- 208 — Clarke County (19-3)
New cases in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County have been relatively modest over the past week, with the only spike coming on Saturday when the city saw 37 new cases of COVID-19 and the county reported 50. Over the past week, Harrisonburg has reported 98 cases, while Rockingham had 123.
Harrisonburg only saw one new hospitalization over the past seven days, but the city did report its 37th death due to the virus last Tuesday. Rockingham has reported 10 hospitalizations, and four deaths (three reported last Tuesday and one Thursday). The county has seen a total of 36 deaths due to the pandemic.
Statewide, 1,893 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Monday. That figure continues a three-day decline from the 3,173 cases reported on Saturday — the second-highest figure Virginia has reported since the pandemic began. The highest one-day total came just seven days ago, when VDH reported 3,242 cases on Nov. 23.
Currently, Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate stands at 7.5 percent.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported on Monday that 1,658 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure marks the highest number of hospitalizations in Virginia since the pandemic began. The state had not seen total hospitalizations surpass 1,500 since April and May, but Virginia has now exceeded that level for 10 of the last 12 days.
Among those hospitalized statewide, 376 are currently in intensive care being treated for COVID-19, according to VHHA — the highest level since May 28, and up 25 over the past week. Currently, there are 162 COVID-19 patients statewide on ventilators — the most since Aug. 18.
Since the pandemic hit Virginia, VHHA reports that 24,199 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.
The state health department reported four new deaths related to the pandemic on Monday, and 120 over the past week. Last Tuesday’s 37 deaths was one of the highest daily totals in the state over the past eight months. Virginia surpassed the 4,000-death mark the day before Thanksgiving and currently reports a total of 4,062 people have died from COVID-19 since March 14.