By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Feb. 7 — While most COVID-19 data continues to significantly trend downward for a second-straight week, Page County still reported more than 100 new cases for the ninth-straight week and the county’s positivity rate remains at 30 percent — the second-highest in the health district. The worst recent trend is a rise in COVID-related deaths, a lagging data point throughout the pandemic, following rises in new cases and hospitalizations. Over the past seven days, Page County reported its highest weekly death toll in nearly a year.
The Virginia Department of Health has reported 128 new cases in the past week, including 34 over the weekend. There were 196 cases reported the previous week and a winter peak of 304 new cases three weeks ago. There was only one hospitalization related to the virus reported in the county this past week. Zip code data provided by VDH shows the following breakdown for new coronavirus cases reported in the county over the past seven days:
- 57 cases — Luray area (22835)
- 33 cases — Shenandoah area (22849)
- 32 cases — Stanley area (22851)
- 5 cases — Rileyville area (22650)
Page County’s seven-day positivity rate declined for a second-straight week and is currently 30.0 percent (as of Feb. 7). The rate fell slightly from last Monday’s 34.8 percent. Prior to this winter’s Omicron surge, Page’s positivity rate had not exceeded 23 percent since the pandemic began. Just two weeks ago on Jan. 24, the county’s positivity rate was reported at 43.5 percent.
Page reported six COVID-related deaths over the past week — one Thursday, one Friday and four over the weekend. That brings the county’s pandemic death toll to 103.
The Lord Fairfax Health District reported 1,090 new cases of COVID-19 over the last seven days, down from 1,683 the previous week and 3,554 four weeks ago when the health district hit its winter peak. Every locality within the health district reported fewer new cases this week, and a decrease in its positivity rate. Below is a breakdown of new cases reported since Jan. 31 and each localities’ positivity rate within the health district (as of Monday, Feb. 7):
• 426 — Frederick County — 21.8%
• 228 — Shenandoah County — 30.2%
• 142 — Warren County — 24.1%
• 128 — Page County — 30.0%
• 118 — City of Winchester — 18.6%
• 48 — Clarke County — 13.6%
The health district reported 20 hospitalizations related to COVID over the past seven days (15 the previous week) and 51 related deaths (20 last week). Frederick County reported 17 of those COVID-related deaths, while Shenandoah County had 15. The City of Winchester saw eight deaths from the virus, while Page County reported six and Warren County had five.
Over the past week, Virginia has averaged 5,514 new cases of COVID-19 per day — down more than 40 percent from 9,194 the previous week. Three weeks ago Virginia peaked at a daily average of 16,917, and set a new one-day, record-high of 26,175 new cases reported on Jan. 8.
Statewide hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have fallen to 2,250 after peaking at 3,948 on Jan. 18. Currently, 426 patients are in intensive care being treated for COVID, with 252 on ventilators.
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate fell for a fourth-straight week and sits at 19.7 percent (as of Feb. 7). The rate has steadily dropped from the commonwealth’s pandemic high of 35.8 percent on Jan. 14. Last Monday, the rate stood at 25.5 percent. During last winter’s surge, Virginia’s positivity peaked at 16.8 percent on Jan. 10, 2021. During the Delta surge in September, the state reached only 10.9 percent positivity.
Virginia reported 890 deaths related to COVID-19 over the past seven days, compared to 269 the previous week and 134 the week prior to that. However, the recent spike is related to VDH now reporting a number of deaths from January that were backlogged. The commonwealth has reported a total of 17,107 deaths from COVID-19 since March 14, 2020.
A total of 465 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered in Page County over the past week — up from 217 the previous week. As of Monday’s report by VDH, a cumulative total of 27,905 vaccinations have been given locally, with 12,428 people in the county receiving at least one dose and 11,627 fully vaccinated (or 48.6 percent of the population). A total of 5,170 in the county have received a third shot or booster for the COVID-19 vaccine (26.6 percent of the adult population in the county).
Statewide, Virginia has administered about 14.9 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with about 6.8 million receiving at least one dose and 6 million individuals, or 80.3 percent of the adult population, being fully vaccinated. About 2.6 million Virginians have received a third “booster” dose of the vaccine.
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.