PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This week’s COVID-19 pandemic update was delayed one day as current figures were not available yesterday on the Virginia Department of Health website, which was observing Monday’s holiday.
By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Oct 12 — The numbers are still high compared to the summer months, but Page County is reporting a declining number of new cases of COVID-19 in recent weeks. The county’s positivity rate dropped locally more than seven points in the last week and is no longer the highest in the health district. However, after reporting no COVID-related deaths in August, Page County saw six in September — and just over a third of the way into October the county has reported six more pandemic fatalities.
The Virginia Department of Health has reported 115 cases of COVID-19 in Page County since Oct. 4, including 31 since Friday. That represents an average of more than 16 new cases each day. However, this week’s total marks a decline from 141 cases the previous week and 153 the week before that.
According to zip code data provided by the VDH, the new cases surfacing over the last eight days were distributed throughout the county as follows:
• 74 cases — Luray area (22835);
• 26 cases — Stanley area (22851);
• 13 cases — Shenandoah area (22849);
• 1 case — Rileyville area (22650).
Page County’s positivity rate dropped to 13.7 percent on Tuesday after sitting at 20.8 percent a week ago. In late September, the county’s positivity reached its pandemic-high of nearly 23 percent. Shortly after the July 4th holiday, the local rate was less than 1 percent.
Among Page County’s COVID fatalities this past week, one was reported on Friday, while three were reported over the holiday weekend. The fatalities raise Page’s pandemic death toll to 71 since the first COVID death was reported in the county on April 29, 2020.
Page County Public Schools has reported 188 cases of COVID-19 within its buildings since opening on Aug. 23. Of those cases, 29 are still active (as of Tuesday) with 21 cases among students and eight among staff.
Since reporting its first case of COVID-19 on March 31, 2020, Page County has reported a total of 3,232 cases, 162 related hospitalizations and 71 fatalities.
The Lord Fairfax Health District has reported 924 new cases of COVID-19 over the last eight days — down slightly from 979 cases the previous week and 1,060 the week before that. Below is a breakdown of new cases reported since Oct. 4 and each localities’ positivity rate within the health district:
• 342 — Frederick County — 8.0%
• 224 — Shenandoah County — 15.9%
• 161 — Warren County — 12.4%
• 115 — Page County — 13.7%
• 53 — City of Winchester — 15.6%
• 29 — Clarke County — 6.9%
The health district reported 18 hospitalizations related to COVID over the past eight days, and 20 related deaths (compared to 14 last week) — nine reported in Frederick County, four in Page County, three in Shenandoah County, and two in both Warren County and Winchester.
Over the past week, Virginia has averaged 2,443 new cases of COVID-19 per day — down from 2,748 the previous week and 3,102 the week before that. Statewide hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have fallen to 1,585 — down from 1,832 last Monday and the lowest level since Aug. 13. Currently, 426 patients are in intensive care being treated for COVID, with 267 on ventilators.
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate continues to drop for a fourth-straight week and is currently 7.8 percent — the lowest rate since late August and down from 8.5 percent last Monday.
Virginia reported 311 deaths related to COVID-19 over the past week — an average of nearly 40 per day, but down slightly from the previous week’s 316 reported deaths. The commonwealth has reported a total of 13,219 deaths from COVID-19 since March 14, 2020.
A total of 248 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered in Page County over the past week — up from 162 the previous week. As of Monday’s report by VDH, a cumulative total of 20,042 vaccinations have been given locally, with 10,974 people in the county receiving at least one dose and 9,947 fully vaccinated (or 41.6 percent of the population).
Statewide, Virginia has administered nearly 10.7 million doses of vaccine, with 5.8 million receiving at least one dose and more than 5.2 million individuals, or 72.6 percent of the adult population, being fully vaccinated.
The Virginia Department of Health reports that between Jan. 17, 2021 and Sept. 18, 2021, unvaccinated people developed COVID-19 at a rate of 7.4 times that of fully vaccinated people, and 2.4 times that of partially vaccinated people.
The data to support that statement relating to breakthrough cases stretches from Jan. 17 to Sept. 18 among 5 million fully vaccinated Virginians as follows:
• 0.5% — developed COVID (26,926)
• 0.021% — hospitalized due to COVID (1,053)
• 0.0054% — died from COVID (273)
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.