By Randy Arrington
LURAY, July 26 — New cases of COVID-19 continue to climb as the Virginia Department of Health reported 22 new cases of the virus in Page County over the past week. That’s the county’s highest weekly total in nearly two months and the second-highest count within the health district.
New cases are surfacing all across the county, according to zip code data provided by VDH, as opposed to being concentrated in one area. Two hospitalizations related to the pandemic were reported in Page last week (Tuesday and Thursday), but there were no reported deaths. The county has only seen one COVID-related death in June, after reporting three in July and a total of 60 since the pandemic began.
After sitting in single digits for several weeks, Page County’s 22 new cases this past week has driven the seven-day positivity rate up to 8.2 percent — the highest in the health district. One week ago, that rate stood at 4.5 percent — the week before that it was 1.9 percent. Page’s current positivity rate is the highest since May 9.
The Lord Fairfax Health District reported 121 new cases of COVID-19 over the past week, up from 87 the previous week and 50 the week prior. Frederick County reported 72 of the district’s new cases. Below is a breakdown of new cases reported in the last week and each locality’s current positivity rate within the health district:
• 72 — Frederick County — 2.6%
• 22 — Page County — 8.2%
• 18 — Shenandoah County — 5.1%
• 15 — Warren County — 7.2%
• 10 — City of Winchester — 4%
• 4 — Clarke County — 2.9%
The health district reported 10 hospitalizations related to COVID-19 over the past week, but there were no related deaths reported.
In addition to Page County leading the health district with the highest positivity rate for COVID-19, it also has the lowest vaccination rate. While Virginia touts 71.6 percent of all adults have been administered at least one dose of the vaccine, Page County can only claim 47.5 percent. The City of Winchester leads the health district in that category with 65 percent, while Clarke County is close behind with 64.9 percent. The commonwealth also reports that 53.6 percent of the state’s entire population has been fully vaccinated, while Clarke County leads the district with 50.4 percent. Page County currently has 36.1 percent of its population fully vaccinated.
A total of 162 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered in Page County over the past week — down from 216 the previous week and 209 the week before. The number of local residents receiving at least one dose climbed by 100 in the last seven days (fell by 44 previous week), and the number of fully vaccinated residents increased by 74 (down from 297 the previous week). As of Monday’s report by VDH, a cumulative total of 17,305 vaccinations have been given locally, with 9,394 people in the county receiving at least one dose (39.3 percent of the population and 47.5 percent of adults) and 8,634 fully vaccinated (36.1 percent of the population and 43.8 percent of adults).
Statewide, Virginia has administered nearly 9.4 million doses of vaccine, with nearly 5.1 million receiving at least one dose and almost 4.6 million individuals, or 64.7 percent of the adult population, being fully vaccinated. Just before Memorial Day, the Old Dominion was averaging 50,111 vaccinations each day — over the past week, that figure has fallen to a daily average of just 11,438.
Virginia’s daily average of new COVID-19 cases over the last four weeks has grown from 182, to 237, to 376, to this past week’s daily average of 671. Those figures still pale in comparison to the rate of 2,000 to 3,000 new cases per day that the commonwealth saw for weeks during some of the worst of the pandemic, including a peak of 9,914 COVID-19 cases reported on Jan. 17. However, the upward trend shows no signs of slowing down.
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate is currently 4.3 percent, up from 3 percent last Monday and 2.1 percent the week before.
Statewide hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have risen as well over the past week totaling 415 as of Monday — the highest total since early June — with 108 patients in ICU. The state reported 23 deaths related to the virus over the past seven days — down from 33 the previous week — and a total of 11,506 since March 14, 2020.
The state of emergency that Governor Northam declared on March 12, 2020 in response to COVID-19 expired on June 30.
Unvaccinated individuals and those who are not fully vaccinated should continue wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces in accordance with federal CDC guidance.
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.