By Randy Arrington
LURAY, July 1 — After adding only four new cases all of last week, Page County saw eight new cases of COVID-19 reported in the last two days.
The Virginia Department of Health reported two new cases of the coronavirus in the county on Tuesday and six new cases on Wednesday. One new hospitalization was reported in the county on Tuesday, but no new deaths related to the pandemic have been reported since June 2.
A current breakdown of COVID-19 cases and testing in Page County (as of June 30) by ZIP code is as follows:
- 22835 (Luray) — 156 cases, 610 tests, 25.6% positivity rate;
- 22851 (Stanley) — 72 cases, 251 tests, 28.7% positivity rate;
- 22849 (Shenandoah) — 37 cases, 286 tests, 12.9% positivity rate.
The 22650 ZIP code (Rileyville) data on new cases remains suppressed by VDH because of the low number of cases and the small population in that area. The state suppresses data in these areas in order to protect patients’ privacy. The last data available (June 30) shows that 19 people in the 22650 area have been tested for COVID-19.
It should also be mentioned that while positivity rates in the county are going down as more testing is done, the number of people being testing is still too low to offer a completely accurate account of COVID-19’s penetration in those communities (ZIP codes) within the county.
The Lord Fairfax Health District has also seen an increase in new cases as of midweek. The district reported only seven new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and nine on Tuesday, but VDH then reported 40 new cases on Wednesday. There have been three new hospitalizations within the health district since Monday, including one in Page County. The others were in Frederick County (Tuesday) and Shenandoah County (Wednesday).
Frederick County also reported one new fatality related to the pandemic on Tuesday.
A breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 2,014 cases of COVID-19 is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 567 — Shenandoah County (63-29)
- 505 — Frederick County (37-6)
- 326 — City of Winchester (23-3)
- 290 — Warren County (19-5)
- 275 — Page County (29-24)
- 51 — Clarke County (4-0)
Harrisonburg has only gained one new case of COVID-19 since Monday, while Rockingham County has added seven new cases. Neither jurisdiction added any hospitalizations, but Rockingham reported one new death related to the pandemic on Wednesday.
Statewide, 416 new cases of the coronavirus were reported on Wednesday. That followed 598 new cases reported on Tuesday.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported Wednesday that 892 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure is down 10 from yesterday, after increasing by 106 on Tuesday.
Among those hospitalized, 205 are in intensive care, according to VHHA — down 20 since Monday. Currently, there are 95 patients statewide on ventilators, down six from Monday.
Since the pandemic began, VHHA also reports that 8,131 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.
The number of COVID-19 deaths in Virginia climbed recently, with 46 reported in the last two days — 23 on both Tuesday and Wednesday. On Sunday and Monday, VDH only reported eight pandemic-related deaths each day.
Governor Ralph Northam recently announced that Virginia would be relaxing health restrictions further and entering Phase III of reopening on July 1. However, the governor also announced that bar seating will remain prohibited in restaurants. While key heath indicators in Virginia are improving, Governor Northam made it clear that he is taking a cautious approach and is prepared to implement tighter restrictions if needed.
To reduce the likelihood of patrons gathering in bar areas without observing social distancing guidelines, bar seating and congregating areas of restaurants will remain closed except for those passing through. Restaurants may use non-bar seating in the bar area, as long as a minimum of six feet between tables is provided.
Virginia is currently averaging more than 10,400 tests per day—exceeding Governor Northam’s goal—and hospitals continue to report ample supplies of personal protective equipment.
The percentage of positive tests has dropped to 6 percent from a high of 20 percent in mid-April. The number of Virginians hospitalized with a positive or pending COVID-19 test has declined significantly over the past several weeks, and more than 1,200 contact tracers are presently working throughout the Commonwealth.