By Randy Arrington
LURAY, July 15 — The Virginia Department of Health reported seven new cases of COVID-19 in Page County on Wednesday. That followed one new case Tuesday and three on Monday.
Wednesday’s seven new cases tied Frederick County for the most in the Lord Fairfax Health District, and it marks the highest one-day influx of the coronavirus in Page County since June 7.
The majority of the new cases surfacing in Page are being found in the southern end of the county, according to ZIP code data provided by VDH. In the last 30 days:
- The 22835 ZIP code (Luray area) has produced 10 new cases of COVID-19;
- The 22851 ZIP code (Stanley area) has seen 14 new cases;
- The 22849 ZIP code (Shenandoah area) has reported 30 new cases.
In just two weeks, the ZIP code at the southern end of the county has climbed from 37 cases of COVID-19 at the end of June, to 61 reported cases as of Wednesday.
A total of 116 people have been tested for the coronavirus in Page County over the past three days, with 11 positive cases — resulting in a positivity rate of about 9.5 percent.
Despite the influx of new cases, no one in Page County has been hospitalized for COVID-19 in the past eight days, and the county has not reported a fatality related to the pandemic since June 2.
The Lord Fairfax Health District reported 24 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. That marks the highest one-day count since July 2, when 34 new cases were reported. Of the 24 new cases on Wednesday — seven were reported in both Frederick and Page counties, four in Winchester and three each in Shenandoah and Warren counties.
The health district saw three new hospitalizations on Wednesday (Frederick, Shenandoah and Warren); and two new deaths (Frederick County and Winchester).
A cumulative breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 2,233 cases of COVID-19 is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 619 — Shenandoah County (68-35)
- 565 — Frederick County (43-7)
- 361 — City of Winchester (25-4)
- 317 — Warren County (21-8)
- 310 — Page County (30-23)
- 61 — Clarke County (7-0)
Harrisonburg reported four new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday and 17 over three days with no new hospitalizations. However, the Friendly City did report one new death this morning. Rockingham County also saw four new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 21 reported over the last three days, with four hospitalizations. Rockingham also reported three deaths related to the pandemic on Tuesday.
Statewide, 1,084 new cases of COVID-19 were reported by VDH on Wednesday morning. That marks the first 1,000-plus day of new cases in Virginia since June 7. The last six days have shown a clear increase in new cases, especially in the Hampton Roads area. Virginia had been in the 450 to 650 new cases per day range for most of June and early July, but the past week has seen each day produce more than 800 new cases.
Governor Ralph Northam stated during a press conference Tuesday that “a large portion of increase in our state is being seen in the Eastern region.” The governor listed the following positivity rates for COVID-19 across regions of Virginia:
- 4.8 % — Southwest region
- 5.9 % — Northwest
- 6.6 % — Central
- 6.7 % — Northern
- 10.1 % — Eastern
Governor Northam stated that there has been a strong surge in new cases of coronavirus among ages 20 to 29 — up 250 percent in that age group. He blames gatherings at bars and private parties as a key factor and pledged to use “stronger enforcement because of non-compliance” with guidelines set by the state.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported Wednesday that 1,081 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure is down 46 since yesterday, but remains above 1,000 for the sixth consecutive day. Prior to the past week, it was June 12 the last time the number of patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 surpassed 1,000 in Virginia.
Among those hospitalized, 246 are in intensive care, according to VHHA — down three since yesterday. Currently, there are 113 patients statewide on ventilators — that figure is up one since yesterday.
Since the pandemic began, VHHA also reports that 9,527 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.
VDH also reported 15 new deaths related to COVID-19 on Wednesday — up from nine on Tuesday and two on Monday. A total of 1,992 people in Virginia have died from the current pandemic since March 14.
During yesterday’s address, Governor Northam stated that businesses will be held to a higher standard moving forward and citations will be written for those who violate state guidelines.
“We are asking businesses to step up… we already say, ‘No shirt, no shoes, no service’ — now we are asking that you add masks to that list,” Northam said. “ This isn’t the end of actions we may take, but the beginning. This is going to take all of us to move forward safely.”
On Monday, Walmart will start requiring facemarks at all its stores nationwide.