By Randy Arrington
LURAY, March 15 — Across the state, the region and in Page County, data related to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to trend favorably, despite the surfacing of new strains of the virus in the Commonwealth. New cases and hospitalizations have slowed to a trickle compared to the winter surge from mid-November through early February, and even the recent spike in deaths has slowed now that the state health department has completed a review of death certificates from the “dark winter.”
The Virginia Department of Health reported only one new case of COVID-19 in Page County on Monday morning and only 16 cases over the past week. The only bad news is that 13 of the 16 cases were reported in the last four days. The county saw five new hospitalizations from the virus last Tuesday and one on Friday. Page has also seen three new deaths related to the pandemic in the past week, with two reported on Thursday and one on Sunday. The county has now seen a total of 56 residents die from COVID-19 in the past year.
Page County’s seven-day positivity rate has dropped from being the highest in the Lord Fairfax Health District to the lowest in the past week. Last Monday, the rate had risen back to 9.3 percent after going as low as 6 percent the previous week. However, Page’s positivity rate has now fallen for seven consecutive days and sits at 3.6 percent. Currently, Clarke County has the highest positivity rate in the district at 12 percent — the only jurisdiction within the health district above the 10-percent threshold.
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate has been steady over the last week and is currently 5.4 percent.
The Lord Fairfax Health District reported 32 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, with all six jurisdictions in the single digits. The district has been averaging less than 50 new cases per day for the last three weeks. During the worst days of the “dark winter”, the district saw more than 200 cases per day. Over the past week, the health district reported 14 hospitalizations and 16 deaths. Frederick County reported half of those deaths (8), while Shenandoah and Page counties had three and Warren County reported two.
Statewide, new cases have remained under 2,000 per day for more than two weeks, after surging as high as 9,914 in a single day on Jan. 17. New hospitalizations have dropped from 100-plus each day, down to less than 50 per day. Deaths related to the pandemic have slowed dramatically in the past 10 days.
The state health department reported Monday that 7,833 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Page County, with 4,600 residents receiving at least one dose and 3,592 fully vaccinated. That means about 15 percent of the county is fully vaccinated, while about 19 percent have received at least one dose.
Here’s a breakdown of vaccinations across the health district:
• Frederick County — 17,507 receiving at least one dose and 13,116 fully vaccinated;
• Shenandoah County — 10,189 receiving at least one dose and 6,936 fully vaccinated;
• Warren County — 6,508 receiving at least one dose and 4,898 fully vaccinated;
• City of Winchester — 6,158 receiving at least one dose and 4,341 fully vaccinated;
• Page County — 4,600 receiving at least one dose and 3,592 fully vaccinated;
• Clarke County — 3,577 receiving at least one dose and 2,705 fully vaccinated.
Vaccine registration has also expanded to include all people who fall into Virginia’s Phase 1b: Frontline essential workers, individuals aged 65 and older, those aged 16 through 64 with a high-risk medical condition or disability that increases their risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and those living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters and migrant labor camps.
Frontline essential workers includes police, fire, hazmat, corrections and homeless shelter workers, childcare/PreK-12 teachers and staff, food and agriculture, manufacturing, grocery store employees, public transit workers, mail carriers, officials needed to maintain continuity of government, clergy/faith leaders, and janitorial/cleaning staff.
Valley Health is administering COVID-19 vaccinations at four clinics — Winchester, Front Royal, Woodstock and Luray. To register, visit www.valleyhealthlink.com/c19vaccinations.
Virginia has administered more than 2.74 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. About 1.8 million in the Commonwealth have received at least one dose of the vaccine (21.1 percent of the population), while 1 million have been fully vaccinated.
Currently, an average of 52,898 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are being administered each day in Virginia — up slightly from a week ago.
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