By Randy Arrington
LURAY, May 27 — Daily reports from the Virginia Department of Health have been like a roller coaster ride in recent weeks, up one day and down the next. The fluctuating figures have left Virginia in a “steady” state at this point in the COVID-19 pandemic — showing no clear signs of improving or worsening.
There have been only nine days since the pandemic hit Virginia in mid-February (first case reported March 7) when the Lord Fairfax Health District saw all six of its jurisdictions report new cases on the same day. Today was one of those days.
A total of 71 new cases of COVID-19 were reported within the health district on Wednesday morning. Those new cases were spread out across the district as follows:
- 24 — Frederick County
- 16 — Shenandoah County
- 12 — Warren County
- 9 — Page County
- 9 — City of Winchester
- 1 — Clarke County
Of the nine days that the health district has seen increases in all six jurisdictions, seven have occurred in May. On May 1, the district was reporting 446 cases of the novel coronavirus. Today — just 26 days later — there are 1,206 reported cases.
Despite the uptick in new cases, there were only eight hospitalizations among the 71 new cases in the district, with no new deaths reported. A breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 1,206 total cases is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 394 — Shenandoah County (40-17)
- 296 — Frederick County (23-4)
- 208 — Page County (24-21)
- 156 — City of Winchester (10-1)
- 129 — Warren County (12-2)
- 23 — Clarke County (3-0)
Page County has seen 22 new cases in the last four days, reported in a unique fashion — two on Sunday, nine on Monday, two in Tuesday and nine on Wednesday. Page now has a total of 208 reported cases of COVID-19.
Among the new cases, the county has only seen two hospitalized over the past four days, with no new fatalities reported.
Following the ZIP code breakdown of new cases in Page County over the past week shows a clearer picture of where the cases are located. ZIP code data provided by VDH is usually one day behind, so today’s nine cases are not included below:
- May 26 — 2 cases reported — 1 Luray (22835), 1 Stanley (22851);
- May 25 — 9 cases — 6 Luray, 2 Stanley, 1 Shenandoah;
- May 24 — 2 cases — 2 Luray;
- May 23 — 14 cases — 13 Luray, 1 Stanley;
- May 22 — 6 cases — 5 Luray, 1 Stanley;
- May 21 — 0 cases;
- May 20 — 1 case — 1 Luray;
- May 19 — 4 cases — 4 Stanley.
It should be noted that ZIP code areas extend well beyond town limits, and someone in the 22851 area code could potentially be closer to Luray or Shenandoah, than Stanley.
Also, while 12 people have been tested in the Rileyville area, state health officials have suppressed data for the 22650 (Rileyville) area because of the low number of cases and the small population. Data has been withheld from many small locations throughout the state due to the fear that revealing these numbers would identify someone who is sick and therefore violate strict privacy laws designed to protect patients.
Here’s a breakdown of the ZIP code data for Page County through May 26:
- ZIP code 22835 (Luray) — 129 cases, 326 tested;
- ZIP code 22851 (Stanley) — 54 cases, 128 tested;
- ZIP code 22849 (Shenandoah) — 12 cases, 111 tested;
- ZIP code 22650 (Rileyville) — (cases suppressed), 12 tested.
Across the Massanutten Mountain, both Harrisonburg and Rockingham County had modest increases overnight. VDH reported nine new cases of COVID-19, with one hospitalization and no new deaths between the two jurisdictions.
Statewide, 907 new cases were reported Wednesday. That figure is down from the record increases reported the two days prior. Monday saw a one-day high of 1,483 new cases surface in Virginia, followed by 1,615 new cases on Tuesday.
The worst news of Wednesday’s VDH report was in the number of deaths reported across the state. Virginia saw 45 new fatalities reported — the highest single-day increase in COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic hit the Commonwealth. The death toll for the Old Dominion has now reached 1,281. Virginia’s first virus-related death was reported on March 14.
The state’s epicenter for the pandemic — Fairfax County — hit a new milestone on Wednesday, with a new cumulative total of 10,069 reported cases of COVID-19. Fairfax has seen 1,266 people hospitalized from the virus, and 364 related deaths.
Prince William County — the next highest locality in terms of total cases and the site of Virginia’s first reported case on March 7 — also hit a new milestone on Wednesday, with 5,074 total cases reported. Prince William has seen 435 hospitalized and 99 deaths.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported today that 1,459 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure is up 56 from yesterday. Among those hospitalized, 390 are in intensive care (up 36 from yesterday) and 203 are on ventilators (up 13).
Since the pandemic began, VHHA also reports that 5,367 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.