By Randy Arrington
LURAY, July 11 — While Northern Virginia, the Metro Richmond area and the Tidewater Region have reported tens of thousands of new cases of COVID-19 over the past 13 weeks, Page County has seen less than 300. Currently, the commonwealth is reporting a statewide seven-day positivity rate of 23 percent — one of the highest levels since early February.
After a dramatic three-month downward trend following January’s winter peak in Virginia, new cases of coronavirus began to climb again in late April — reaching a recent high of 4,056 cases reported in a single day on June 3. In early January, Virginia peaked at a daily average of 16,917 new cases, and set a new one-day, record-high of 26,175 new cases reported on Jan. 8. The state’s seven-day positivity rate peaked at 43.5 percent.
The last six weeks has seen between 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of COVID-19 being reported in Virginia on a daily basis — nowhere near the winter peak, but consistently the highest figures reported since February.
Since Page Valley News last reported on the coronavirus pandemic in Page County on March 7, there have been 355 reported cases of COVID-19 and five related deaths.
Of those, 295 cases and two deaths have been reported in the past 13 weeks. By contrast, the densely-populated Fairfax County (with its more than 1 million residents) has reported 34,998 new cases and 32 deaths related to the virus in the past 13 weeks — the highest in Virginia.
The biggest one-day spike in recent weeks for Page County came on May 20, when 14 new cases were reported. A total of 11 new cases were reported on both May 6 and June 16. Most days since the spring slow down have seen less than five new cases reported in Page.
Since the pandemic began in March 2020, a total of 5,886 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the county, with a total of 123 local deaths credited to the virus.
Statewide, COVID numbers are starting to return to late-winter ranges, with 647 people currently hospitalized — compared to 530 on March 10. Of those, 89 are in ICU (only 35 on April 20) and 23 are on ventilators (13 on April 20). Since mid-March, nearly 9,000 patients with COVID-19 have been treated and released from Virginia hospitals.
Currently, the Old Dominion is averaging 13 COVID deaths each day, even as many consider the pandemic to be over. Virginia has reported 20,746 deaths related to the virus since the pandemic began — 1,581 since March 10.
As new cases and deaths fell sharply and then began to rise again since the winter peak, vaccinations for COVID-19 have slowed down dramatically statewide over the past few months. While Virginia has administered about 16.3 million vaccinations since they were made available around 18 months ago, the commonwealth has given less than 1 million shots in the past four months.
Between March 7 and July 11, Page County administered 2,053 vaccinations — many of which were boosters, as the number of fully vaccinated residents actually dropped by 17 during that period, according to data provided by VDH. However, the percentage of fully vaccinated adults in the county rose slightly from 58.8 to 62.8 percent. Just under half of the total population (49.6 percent) in Page is fully vaccinated.
Statewide, Virginia remains at 6.2 million fully vaccinated — 81 percent of adults, and 72 percent of the commonwealth’s total population. Those are roughly the same percentages the state reported in dearly March.
About 3.5 million state residents (more than one-third of the population) have received booster vaccinations (third shot) for COVID-19. That’s compared to 2.8 million in early March.
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.