By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Sept. 2 — The Virginia Department of Health reported the first COVID-19 fatality in Page County on Wednesday, April 29. Today, 18 weeks later to the day, the state is now reporting the 26th death in Page due to the novel coronavirus.
Page County reported its last pandemic death on Aug. 9. The first 21 deaths in the county were reported within a 25-day period — April 29 to May 23 — as an outbreak at Skyview Springs Rehab and Nursing Center in Luray took a heavy toll. At least 18 of those deaths occurred at Skyview.
Since then, five more COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the county outside of a long-term care facility — the major source of both outbreaks and deaths during the pandemic. Periodic checks with Skyview show that they have remained free of COVID-19 since the late April outbreak there, and the multiple longterm care facilities of Valley Care Management in the area have remained free of the coronavirus throughout the pandemic.
Shenandoah County also reported two more deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county’s total to 50 fatalities since April 25. The county has seen multiple outbreaks associated with both longterm care facilities and meat processing plants.
Between Page and Shenandoah counties, the three deaths reported Wednesday represent the highest one-day death toll in the Lord Fairfax Health District since June 2, when four deaths were reported in one day.
Page and Shenandoah counties rank among the top six localities in Virginia in COVID-19 deaths per 100,000. [See https://www.vpap.org/covid-19/]
Frederick County reported a new COVID-19 death on Tuesday. The health district has now reported a total of 97 deaths during the pandemic. Shenandoah County reported the district’s first death due to the coronavirus on April 25.
As far as new cases, the health district reported 14 on Wednesday, after having 13 on Tuesday. Frederick County lead the district again with six new cases on Wednesday, while Warren County had three and Shenandoah County added two. Clarke, Page and Winchester only reported one new case each.
With only four positive cases of COVID-19 resulting from 179 tests, Page County is currently showing a 10-day positivity rate of only 2.2 percent.
Both Clarke and Shenandoah counties reported new hospitalizations on Wednesday.
A cumulative breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 2,832 reported cases, 248 hospitalizations and 97 deaths is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 775 — Shenandoah County (82-50)
- 772 — Frederick County (60-11)
- 447 — City of Winchester (35-4)
- 394 — Warren County (22-6)
- 362 — Page County (39-26)
- 82 — Clarke County (10-0)
The City of Harrisonburg added another 73 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, after reporting 77 new cases Tuesday and 61 on Monday. Due to the recent surge, James Madison University has opted to keep students off campus and reverted to online learning for the coming weeks. JMU officials have stated they will revisit the recent decision in early October.
Rockingham County has reported 11 new cases each of the last two days, as well as one new hospitalization each day.
Statewide, 927 new cases of COVID-19 were reported Wednesday, down from 1,021 on Tuesday. New hospitalizations rose by 57, continuing a three-day climb.
In terms of total hospitalizations, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported Friday that 1,114 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure is up 75 since yesterday.
Among those hospitalized, 266 are in intensive care, according to VHHA — up eight since yesterday. Currently, there are 134 COVID-19 patients statewide on ventilators, up four since yesterday.
Since the pandemic hit Virginia, VHHA reports that 15,319 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.
VDH reported 29 more deaths related to the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday. Virginia has seen 61 people died from the coronavirus in the last two days, and 2,641 since March 14.