By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Nov. 22 — Just days prior to thousands of family gatherings planned for this week, new cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the county, the health district and statewide. Page County saw new cases nearly double over the past seven days, while also reporting three more COVID-related deaths. That marks eight pandemic fatalities in the county during November, after reporting a dozen in October.
The Virginia Department of Health has reported 64 new cases of COVID-19 in Page County since Nov. 15, including 31 cases over the weekend. There were only 39 cases reported the previous week, and an identical 39 reported the week prior to that. There have been a total of 3,540 cases of the coronavirus reported since March 31, 2020.
Page County’s positivity rate has risen to 10.8 percent as of Monday, up a half-point above last Monday’s 10.3 percent. The county’s positivity rate has been fluctuating over the past four weeks between 9.7 and 11.2 percent.
Page County’s three deaths this past week were reported on Wednesday, Thursday and Monday. That brings the county’s pandemic death toll up to 85.
Page County Public Schools has reported 243 cases of COVID-19 within its buildings since opening on Aug. 23, (seven cases reported since last Monday). Of those cases, eight are still active (as of Nov. 22) with seven cases among students and one among staff.
The Lord Fairfax Health District has reported 620 new cases of COVID-19 over the last seven days — up from 424 cases the previous week. Four of the six jurisdictions within the health district showed increases this past week. Frederick County more than doubled in new cases (from 130 to 273), while Shenandoah County jumped from 83 to 133 new cases and Warren County went from 70 to 123. Clarke County saw a decrease from the previous week’s spike of 87 new cases fueled by an outbreak at Rose Hill Health and Rehab in Berryville earlier this month, including 42 new cases reported on Veteran’s Day.
Below is a breakdown of new cases reported since Nov. 15 and each localities’ positivity rate within the health district:
• 273 — Frederick County — 9.7%
• 133 — Shenandoah County — 12.2%
• 123 — Warren County — 11.2%
• 64 — Page County — 10.8%
• 18 — Clarke County — 18.7%
• 9 — City of Winchester — 3.6%
The health district reported 15 hospitalizations related to COVID over the past seven days (11 previous week) and 14 related deaths (15 previous week). Three pandemic deaths were reported in Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah and Page counties, and two each in Warren County and the City of Winchester.
Over the past week, Virginia has averaged 1,644 new cases of COVID-19 per day — up from 1,305 the previous week and 1,276 the week prior to that. Statewide hospitalizations related to COVID-19 are at 846 — up from 829 last Monday. Currently, 215 patients are in intensive care being treated for COVID (up 10), with 114 on ventilators (also up 10).
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate rose slightly over the past week to 5.9 percent, after being reported at 5.4 percent last Monday.
Virginia reported 156 deaths related to COVID-19 over the past week (202 last week) — an average of more than 22 per day. The commonwealth has reported a total of 14,548 deaths from COVID-19 since March 14, 2020.
A total of 550 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered in Page County over the past week — up from 486 the previous week. As of Monday’s report by VDH, a cumulative total of 23,202 vaccinations have been given locally, with 11,540 people in the county receiving at least one dose and 10,577 fully vaccinated (or 44.3 percent of the population). A total of 2,076 in the county have received a third shot or booster for the COVID-19 vaccine (10.8 percent of the adult population in the county). The majority of COVID-19 vaccinations administered in Page County over the past week (366) were booster shots.
Statewide, Virginia has administered nearly 12.5 million doses of vaccine, with nearly 6.3 million receiving at least one dose and 5.5 million individuals, or 76.6 percent of the adult population, being fully vaccinated. More than 1.1 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.
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Thanks to the Chinese Communists, a new heavily mutated, ‘horrific’ strain of Covid-19 has appeared in South Africa. It will be a never ending yearly thing like the common flu. Big Pharma rejoices. Yawn.