By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Dec. 10 — For the third time in five days, Page County on Thursday reported its second-highest daily total for new cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with 33. That followed 19 new cases reported on Wednesday and 15 on Sunday. In total, Page County has seen 84 new cases surface over the last five days, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
According to ZIP code data provided by VDH, a bulk of Thursday’s new cases — 24 — were reported in the Luray area (22835), while six were in the Shenandoah area (22849) and three in the Stanley area (22851).
Initial checks with local nursing homes and longterm care facilities in Page County show that there are no current outbreaks there, which means the current surge is being spread through general community transmission.
Page County’s seven-day positivity rate stands at 12.2 percent, according to Daily Locality Metrics data provided on the VDH website.
While Page County is reporting its highest influx of new cases since April 25 when a COVID-19 outbreak surged through a Luray longterm care facility, the county has only reported one new hospitalization since Thanksgiving and has not seen a fatality from the pandemic in eight days.
The Lord Fairfax Health District also posted its second-highest day for new cases, with 202. The district reported 217 new cases on Nov. 30.
Frederick County reported 75 new cases on Thursday, while Shenandoah County added 33 and Warren County had 27. Winchester reported 19 new cases of the virus, and Clarke County had 15.
The health district reported two new hospitalizations and two new fatalities due to COVID-19 on Thursday. Hospitalizations were split between Shenandoah and Clarke counties. Shenandoah also reported its 67th death from the pandemic, while Warren County added its 29th fatality.
Harrisonburg and Rockingham County continue to show a surge in new cases as well, with 47 and 76 new cases reported on Thursday, respectively. While neither locality has reported a death in the last two days, Rockingham has seen four hospitalizations.
Statewide, 3,915 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Thursday. That figure followed Wednesday’s new state record of 4,398 new cases. Some health experts are speculating that Virginia is now seeing the “Thanksgiving surge” impact daily numbers, as the last six days have not dropped below 3,793. Prior to Saturday, Virginia had only surpassed 3,000 new cases twice since the pandemic began (Nov. 23 and Nov. 28).
Virginia’s current seven-day positivity rate stands at 11 percent.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported on Thursday that 2,051 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure sets another state record and continues a three-day upward trend. The state had not seen total hospitalizations surpass 1,500 since April and May, but Virginia has now exceeded 2,000 for the first time two consecutive days.
Among those hospitalized statewide, 415 are currently in intensive care being treated for COVID-19, according to VHHA. There are 203 COVID-19 patients statewide on ventilators. Virginia’s ICU occupancy is at 78 percent.
Since the pandemic hit Virginia, VHHA reports that 26,016 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.
The state health department reported 54 new deaths related to the pandemic on Thursday. Virginia surpassed the 4,000-death mark the day before Thanksgiving and currently reports a total of 4,335 people have died from COVID-19 since March 14.