By Randy Arrington
LURAY, May 17 — While figures spent part of March and April fluctuating, data tracking the COVID-19 pandemic are now at levels not seen since the early weeks of initial outbreaks more than a year ago across the state, region and in Page County.
The Virginia Department of Health reported only 9 new cases of coronavirus in Page County over the past week (compared to 18 the previous week), along with one hospitalization last Tuesday. The county’s seven-day positivity rate currently stands at 2.7 percent, after reaching a recent high of 8.9 percent on May 9. Last Wednesday, VDH removed one fatality from Page County’s death toll, leaving the pandemic total at 56 deaths in the county. The last death related to COVID-19 in Page was reported on March 17.
A total of 362 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered in Page County over the past week (down from 637 the previous week), with the number of residents receiving at least one dose growing by 172 (down from 213) and the number of fully vaccinated residents increasing 208 (down from 447). As of Monday’s report by VDH, a cumulative total of 14,217 vaccinations have been given locally, with 7,983 people receiving at least one dose (33.4 percent of the population) and 6,765 have been fully vaccinated (28.3 percent).
Here’s a breakdown of percentages of the population that have received vaccinations within the six jurisdictions of the Lord Fairfax Health District:
• 47.3% — with at least one dose, Clarke County (38.9% fully vaccinated);
• 44.7% — with one dose, Winchester (32.5% fully);
• 40.1% — with one dose, Shenandoah County (32.7% fully);
• 39.1% — with one dose, Frederick County (30.8% fully);
• 36.3% — with one dose, Warren County (26.9% fully);
• 33.4% — with one dose, Page County (28.3% fully).
Over the last week, the Lord Fairfax Health District has reported 221 new cases of COVID-19, with 53 of those in Frederick County and another 45 in Winchester. However, Warren County had the highest count of new cases in the health district with 71. Shenandoah County had 28. The district also reported a dozen hospitalizations and six deaths related to COVID-19, with two fatalities reported in Shenandoah and Warren counties and one each in Frederick County and Winchester.
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate has dropped to 3.3 percent, compared to 4.3 percent a week ago. The commonwealth’s daily case count has remained below 500 for the last two days, with 280 new cases reported Sunday and 272 on Monday. Statewide hospitalizations related to COVID-19 are at 661 as of Monday.
However, the state still reported 127 deaths related to the virus over the last week — and a total of 11,029 since March 14, 2020.
Across the state, more than 7.1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with more than 4.1 million receiving at least one dose (48.3 percent of the statewide population) and more than 3.2 million fully vaccinated (37.8 percent). Currently, Virginia is averaging 41,954 doses of the vaccine being administered each day — a decline from last Monday’s 54,462.
On Friday, Governor Ralph Northam announced that masks mandates were being lifted immediately to align with recent CDC guideline changes, and that public health restrictions such as capacity limitations are being lifted on Friday, May 28 — two weeks prior to the recently announced date of June 15. The governor’s announcement comes as VDH reports that nearly 65 percent of adults in Virginia have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
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.