By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Jan. 24 — While numbers are still near the highest of the pandemic, it appears that Page County may have now reached its peak in the Omicron wave and is starting to show a decline in new cases of COVID-19. However, Page’s positivity rate increased for a fourth-straight week and set yet another record-high at nearly 44 percent.
The Virginia Department of Health has reported 263 new cases of COVID-19 surfacing in Page County since Jan. 17 (an average of almost 38 per day). A total of 304 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:
- 131 cases — Luray area (22835)
- 66 cases — Stanley area (22851)
- 51 cases — Shenandoah area (22849)
- 8 cases — Rileyville area (22650)
Page County’s seven-day positivity rate reached another record-high at 43.5 percent, breaking last Monday’s record-high of 42.2 percent. Prior to this winter’s Omicron surge, Page’s positivity rate had not exceeded 23 percent since the pandemic began. Currently, Page’s rate is the highest in the health district and sits at nearly 10 percent above the next-highest locality.
The county reported three hospitalizations due to the virus this past week and two COVID-related deaths — the 94th and 95th of the pandemic in Page County.
The Lord Fairfax Health District reported 2,218 new cases of COVID-19 over the last seven days, down from 3,147 the previous week and 3,554 the week prior to that. Frederick and Page counties were the only localities in the health district to show a slight increase in its positivity rate over the past week, but all six localities in the health district showed a decline in new cases. Below is a breakdown of new cases reported since Jan. 17 and each localities’ positivity rate within the health district (as of Monday, Jan.24):
• 812 — Frederick County — 33.9%
• 482 — Shenandoah County — 41%
• 300 — City of Winchester — 34.7%
• 263 — Page County — 43.5%
• 249 — Warren County — 33.9%
• 112 — Clarke County — 29.3%
The health district reported 25 hospitalizations related to COVID over the past seven days (23 the previous week) and 13 related deaths (six last week). Warren County reported five of those COVID-related deaths, while Shenandoah County had three, Clarke and Page counties each reported two, and Frederick County had one.
Over the past week, Virginia has averaged 12,020 new cases of COVID-19 per day — down nearly 30 percent from 16,917 the previous week. Statewide hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have fallen slightly to 3,648 — down from 3,812 the previous week. Currently, 601 patients are in intensive care being treated for COVID, with 386 on ventilators.
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate fell for a second-straight week and sits at 29.8 percent (as of Jan. 24). The rate has slowly climbed down from the commonwealth’s pandemic high of 35.6 percent about two weeks ago. Last Monday, the rate stood at 33.6 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 134 deaths related to COVID-19 over the past seven days, down from 143 the previous week. The commonwealth has reported a total of 15,948 deaths from COVID-19 since March 14, 2020.
A total of 235 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered in Page County over the past week — down from 388 the previous week. As of Monday’s report by VDH, a cumulative total of 27,223 vaccinations have been given locally, with 12,324 people in the county receiving at least one dose and 11,213 fully vaccinated (or 46.9 percent of the population). A total of 4,625 in the county have received a third shot or booster for the COVID-19 vaccine (23.8 percent of the adult population in the county).
Statewide, Virginia has administered about 14.6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with about 6.7 million receiving at least one dose and 5.9 million individuals, or 78.7 percent of the adult population, being fully vaccinated. About 2.4 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.