By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Jan. 3 — In terms of new cases of COVID-19, Virginia has reported its five highest daily totals of the entire pandemic in the last six days. New cases of the virus doubled over the past week, as new records are being set and positivity rates have reached their pandemic peak across the state, the region and in Page County.
Virginia reported 12,112 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday — a new one-day record. The previous high mark was 9,914 cases reported on Jan. 17, 2021. The commonwealth then proceeded to report 13,500 new cases of the virus on Thursday, another 17,618 cases on Friday, and then the new record of 19,506 cases on Sunday.
In all, Virginia reported 92,854 cases in a single week — more than most months during the pandemic, and an average of 13,266 each day. During the height of last winter’s surge, the state reported about 150,000 cases during the 31 days of January.
The Virginia Department of Health reported more than 100 new cases of COVID-19 in Page County for the fourth-consecutive week and set a new record with 212 new cases surfacing since Dec. 27 (average of 30 per day). That total included 102 new cases just over the weekend. A total of 108 cases were reported the previous week. Zip code data provided by VDH shows the following breakdown for new coronavirus cases reported in the county over the past seven days:
- 98 cases — Luray area (22835)
- 72 cases — Stanley area (22851)
- 34 cases — Shenandoah area (22849)
- 6 cases — Rileyville area (22650)
Page County’s positivity rate has reached a new record-high as well at 36 percent, breaking last Monday’s record-high of 26.4 percent. Page’s positivity was the highest in the health district, blamed on a lack of testing; however, now the entire health district is reporting rates above 30 percent (see below) with the majority of localities across the state ranging anywhere from 30 to 50 percent (or more) positivity.
Page County reported only one hospitalization and one death related to the virus over the past week. The county’s 92nd pandemic fatality was reported on Thursday.
The Lord Fairfax Health District reported 2,574 new cases of COVID-19 over the last seven days, up from 1,220 the previous week. Every jurisdiction within the health district reported an increase in new cases and positivity. Below is a breakdown of new cases reported since Dec. 27 and each localities’ positivity rate within the health district (as of Monday, Jan.3):
• 1,043 — Frederick County — 35.2%
• 430 — Warren County — 31.3%
• 407 — Shenandoah County — 34.4%
• 310 — City of Winchester — 36.1%
• 212 — Page County — 36.0%
• 172 — Clarke County — 30.7%
The health district reported 20 hospitalizations related to COVID over the past seven days (23 last week) and 11 related deaths (18 last week). Frederick and Shenandoah counties reported four COVID-related deaths each, while Page County, Warren County and the City of Winchester each reported one.
Statewide hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have risen to 2,611 — up from 1,672 the previous week. Currently, 498 patients are in intensive care being treated for COVID (up 25 percent from last week), with 259 on ventilators (up 19 percent).
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate has set another record-high at 27.9 percent, after sitting at 14.5 percent last Monday. Two weeks ago the commonwealth’s positivity rate stood at 9.3 percent. During last winter’s surge, Virginia’s positivity peaked at 16.8 percent on Jan. 10. During the Delta surge in September, the state reached only 10.9 percent positivity.
Virginia reported 296 deaths related to COVID-19 over the past seven days, up from 183 the previous week. The commonwealth has reported a total of 15,615 deaths from COVID-19 since March 14, 2020.
A total of 364 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered in Page County over the past week — slightly down from 431 the previous week and 537 the week prior to that. As of Monday’s report by VDH, a cumulative total of 26,255 vaccinations have been given locally, with 12,097 people in the county receiving at least one dose and 11,063 fully vaccinated (or 46 percent of the population). A total of 4,070 in the county have received a third shot or booster for the COVID-19 vaccine (21 percent of the adult population in the county). Nearly 71 percent of the COVID-19 vaccinations administered in Page County over the past week (258) were booster shots.
Statewide, Virginia has administered about 14.1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with about 6.6 million receiving at least one dose and 5.8 million individuals, or 78 percent of the adult population, being fully vaccinated. About 2.1 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.
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