By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Dec. 2 — The Virginia Department of Health reported Page County’s 33rd death due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday morning. That’s the second-highest death toll within the Lord Fairfax Health District, and more fatalities than the three lowest jurisdictions combined.
While Page has not reported a new hospitalization from the coronavirus since the day before Thanksgiving, the county has seen two fatalities from the virus in the last eight days.
Among the dozen cases of COVID-19 reported in Page County so far this week (four on Wednesday), ZIP code data provided by VDH shows that seven of those cases surfaced in the Luray area (22835), while three were reported in the Stanley area (22851) and one each in the Shenandoah area (22849) and the Rileyville area (22650).
According to School Metrics data on the VDH website, Page County currently has a 14-day positivity rate of 10.1 percent — the highest rate in months, and according to CDC guidelines, it places the county in the “Highest Risk” category for transmission of the disease.
Using the same set of data, Page County has seen a 20-percent increase in new cases per 100,000 persons during the last seven days compared to the previous seven days — also placing the county in the “Highest Risk” category, according to CDC guidelines.
The same data also shows there has been a 275.8-percent increase in cases per 100,000 persons within the last 14 days in Page County — also listed under the “Highest Risk” rating by CDC.
The Lord Fairfax Health District reported 84 new cases of COVID-19 on both Tuesday and Wednesday after setting a new record of 217 new cases reported on Monday. That new record was set two days after the previous record of 192 cases was set on Saturday.
Warren County reported the highest case count on Wednesday, with 27. Frederick County reported 20 cases today, while Shenandoah County had 17 and Winchester added 14.
The health district saw six new hospitalizations on Wednesday, with three of those reported in Shenandoah County and one each in Frederick, Winchester and Warren.
Frederick and Shenandoah counties also reported a COVID-19 fatality on Wednesday. For Frederick, it was the 19th death from the pandemic, while Shenandoah County reported its 63rd — the highest total within the health district.
A cumulative breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 6,524 reported cases, 449 hospitalizations and 149 deaths is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 2,286 — Frederick County (125-19)
- 1,437 — Shenandoah County (120-63)
- 1,095 — City of Winchester (61-4)
- 895 — Warren County (62-27)
- 601 — Page County (62-33)
- 210 — Clarke County (19-3)
The City of Harrisonburg reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and has only seen one new hospitalization and no deaths over the past week. However, Rockingham County reported 50 new cases of the virus on Wednesday and has seen 13 hospitalizations and one death in the last seven days.
Statewide, 2,417 new cases of the coronavirus was reported on Wednesday, marking a third day of increases. Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate has climbed to 8.3 percent. That figure stood around 4.5 percent in early to mid-October.
As the nation set a new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations, so did Virginia, with 158 new hospitalizations reported on Wednesday.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported on Wednesday that 1,860 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That represents the highest level in Virginia since the pandemic began and a fourth-straight day of increases. It also marks an increase of 275 (or 17.4 percent) in the last four days.
Statewide hospitalizations hit 1,569 on Nov. 19 — at the time a new record. That figure has now been surpassed seven times in the last two weeks. The state had not seen total hospitalizations surpass 1,500 since April and May, but Virginia has now exceeded that level for 12 of the last 14 days.
Among those hospitalized in Virginia, 427 are currently in intensive care being treated for COVID-19, according to VHHA — the highest level since the pandemic began. The state’s ICU beds currently have an occupancy rate of 77 percent.
Currently, there are 188 COVID-19 patients statewide on ventilators — the most since June 1. Only 28 percent of Virginia’s ventilators are currently in use (834 of 2,963).
Since the pandemic hit Virginia, VHHA reports that 24,620 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.
The state health department reported 20 new deaths related to the pandemic on Wednesday, and another 35 since the weekend (31 on Tuesday). A total of 4,113 people in Virginia have died from COVID-19 since March 14.
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