By Randy Arrington
LURAY, June 7 — While the Lord Fairfax Health District reported a net gain of only 44 new COVID-19 cases over the past week, Page County reported 40 additional cases. By contrast, Shenandoah County had 38 cases removed from its totals.
Page County’s 40 “new” cases of coronavirus reported by the Virginia Department of Health should be alarming. It marks the highest count for new cases in a single week since mid-February, when the county was descending from the pandemic’s peak. Those 40 cases also represent the highest count for any locality in the region since Memorial Day. However, it may not be the “spike” that the numbers may indicate.
It’s been a strange week of reporting across the health district in terms of COVID-19 data, in what appears to be data adjustments from earlier reporting. Shenandoah County saw 21 cases of coronavirus removed from its cumulative total on June 1, and 16 more cases deducted over the following three days. Meanwhile, Page County reported 19 more cases on June 1, and another 15 cases over the next two days.
Such a spike in COVID-19 cases — 34 in a three-day span — should have driven the county’s positivity rate up dramatically. However, since hitting a recent high of 5.1 percent on Memorial Day, Page County’s seven-day positivity rate has steadily dropped over the past week to 2.5 percent on Friday and 1.9 percent on Sunday. As of Monday, the county’s current rate stands at 1.1 percent.
In addition, the ZIP code data breakdown provided by VDH on its website, which shows the total number of cases and tests, indicated a higher number of cases in Page County than the site’s dashboard. On Memorial Day, for example, ZIP code data showed there had been 2,102 cases of COVID-19 reported in Page County, while the site’s “Locality” dashboard reported 2,073 cases — a difference of 29. VDH has made adjustments to its COVID-19 data throughout the pandemic due to various reporting errors.
As of Monday, the data gap had almost closed on Page County’s total case count, as the VDH dashboard figure had grown to within one case of the ZIP code total.
Page County also reported two new hospitalizations from coronavirus over the past week. The county saw its 57th fatality from the virus reported June 1. It was the first COVID-related death reported since St. Patrick’s Day.
A total of 298 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered in Page County over the past week (down from 375 the previous week and 544 the week before that), with the number of residents receiving at least one dose growing by 158 (up from 156) and the number of fully vaccinated residents increasing 155 (down from 250). As of Monday’s report by VDH, a cumulative total of 15,434 vaccinations have been given locally, with 8,636 people receiving at least one dose (36.1 percent of the population) and 7,410 have been fully vaccinated (31 percent).
The Lord Fairfax Health District saw a total of six hospitalizations and three deaths reported over the past week. After Page County reported its 57th fatality from COVID-19 on Tuesday, Warren County reported its 59th death on Wednesday and Shenandoah County saw its 134th pandemic death on Friday.
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate has dropped to 2.2 percent, compared to 2.7 percent a week ago. The commonwealth’s daily case count was only 90 on Monday. Statewide hospitalizations related to COVID-19 are at a total of 424, with 115 in ICU and 76 patients on ventilators.
The state reported 59 deaths related to the virus over the past seven days — up from 51 the previous week — and a total of 11,245 since March 14, 2020.
Virginia has administered more than 8.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with nearly 4.8 million receiving at least one dose (55.9 percent of the statewide population) and nearly 3.9 million fully vaccinated (45.8 percent). Currently, Virginia is averaging 23,998 doses of the vaccine being administered each day — down from 35,548 a week ago, and 50,111 two weeks ago.
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.
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Are they keeping any stats on these folks as in if they did or did not get the shot. I think we all deserve to know this kind of information.