By Randy Arrington
LURAY, April 6 — On Monday morning, the Virginia Department of Health’s website (which updates each morning) reported two cases of COVID-19 in Page County.
That’s the same number of coronavirus cases as Page County was reporting on Thursday, April 2. It has not changed in the last four days, according to the VDH — the official tracking system at the county level for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
However, the number of coronavirus cases within the Lord Fairfax Health District has doubled in the past five days — from 33 on April 1, to 66 COVID-19 cases reported as of April 6.
The highest number of cases in the region are in Frederick County and the City of Winchester — the most populated area within the health district, which also serves Clarke, Page, Shenandoah and Warren counties. The April 6 VDH report for the region shows the following breakdown of reported cases:
- 31 — Frederick County
- 13 — City of Winchester
- 13 — Shenandoah County
- 5 — Warren County
- 2 — Clarke County
- 2 — Page County
Nearby Rockingham County has 15 reported cases of the coronavirus, with another 27 reported cases within the City of Harrisonburg.
Statewide reported cases have climbed to 2,878 as of Monday’s report, with 24,521 tested and 497 hospitalized.
As of April 6, a total of 54 people in Virginia have died from COVID-19 — four of those in the Northwest portion of the state.
Slightly to the east, Northern Virginia continues to be one of the “hot spots” in the Old Dominion, with the following cases reported in that area (as of April 6):
- 488 — Fairfax County
- 203 — Arlington
- 193 — Prince William County
- 188 — Loudoun County
- 93 — Alexandria
A higher number of reported cases of COVID-19 are also centered around areas in the state with higher populations, such as Richmond and Virginia Beach.
False report posted on social media
A false report shared on Facebook yesterday reported a higher number of reported coronavirus cases here in Page County.
The following was posted on facebook.com at 8:17 a.m. on Sunday, April 5, under the header of “SmartNews”:
“Page County news: Local COVID-19 cases jump from 4 to 8 overnight. Download SmartNews to get the latest Coronavirus news in Page County.”
PVN has found nothing to show that this information is in any way accurate. The official report from the Virginia Department of Health still shows only two cases being reported in Page County as of Monday.
Underneath the typed text at the top of the SmartNews post is a large photo of the coronavirus — similar to the one used by PageValleyNews.com and many other new agencies during their reporting of this worldwide crisis. Overlayed on the photo are the words “Page County News.”
Near the bottom of the post it states: “Local Page County news” — next to a prompt to “Install Now.”
PUBLISHER’s NOTE: PVN wants to be clear that we have no association with SmartNews or the false claims it made about Page County and the spread of COVID-19. We want to be clear that we strive to provide the truth, based on official sources, about this scary outbreak of a highly contagious and deadly disease.
We mention this only as a cautionary note to Page County residents about where they get their news in today’s online climate. Five local residents “Liked” the false Facebook report, and it was shared three times (as of the time we saw it). So, our fear is that the inaccurate information may become “viral” itself.
More than 11,000 people have read our story on the first case of COVID-19 in Page County. It was read by at least one person in every state in the continental United States within a 24-hour period, according to Google Analytics. We understand the importance of what we are doing, and the responsibility that comes with it. We understand that people are desperate for answers, and they want the truth. We will strive to provide both.