By Randy Arrington
LURAY, June 2 — The Virginia Department of Health added three more fatalities to the COVID-19 death toll for Page County on Tuesday morning.
That brings the county’s total pandemic deaths to 24 — putting it in a tie for ninth with Hanover County (near Richmond) for the most COVID-19 deaths in Virginia. (See chart at bottom of story.) When factoring in population, Page County ranks third in the state for pandemic fatalities per capita, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
The last COVID-19 death in Page County was reported on May 24; the first on April 29.
Jill Irby, administrator for Skyview Springs Rehab and Nursing Center in Luray, confirmed on Tuesday morning that three more residents at the facility had died from COVID-19. On May 21, Irby stated that 18 residents were victims of the virus. Today, that number was 21.
Despite the grim news that has come from Skyview in recent weeks, Irby says that 76 residents of the facility who tested positive for the novel coronavirus are now recovered. In addition, there are no residents of the facility currently hospitalized for COVID-19.
Longterm care facilities have accounted for 56.6 percent (796) of the fatalities in Virginia related to the current pandemic, while only accounting for 10.8 percent (4,973) of the cases. Among the 367 outbreaks reported by VDH, 214 have been in longterm care facilities.
Within the Lord Fairfax Health District, eight of 18 outbreaks have been located in longterm care facilities.
While only one outbreak in the health district is located within a correctional facility, the number of new cases could rise in the next few days when the results of Friday’s point prevalence testing comes in from RSW regional jail near Front Royal. RSW reported its first COVID-19 case on May 26. As of late last week, there were 18 reported cases and those inmates had been isolated.
Page County saw five new cases reported on Tuesday, with one new hospitalization. After five days with no new hospitalizations, Page has seen two in the last two days.
ZIP code data for the last two days shows five new cases in the Luray area (22835), one new case in Stanley (22851) and four new cases in Shenandoah (22849). The southern end of Page County has seen its number of COVID-19 cases double since Memorial Day. On May 24, only 11 total cases were reported in the 22849 ZIP code; nine days later there are 22.
The five-county health district reported 38 new cases on Tuesday. After decreasing for three straight days, Tuesday’s figure represents a second day of increasing new cases.
Two people in the health district were hospitalized overnight for COVID-19 — one in Shenandoah County and one in Page. VDH also reported four new virus-related deaths, with one in Shenandoah County and three in Page.
A breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 1,456 total cases is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 465 — Shenandoah County (45-22)
- 371 — Frederick County (23-4)
- 230 — Page County (26-24)
- 196 — City of Winchester (12-2)
- 166 — Warren County (14-2)
- 28 — Clarke County (3-0)
Across the Massanutten Mountain, Harrisonburg reported only two new cases of COVID-19, while Rockingham County had only four. The Friendly City saw two hospitalized, but neither jurisdiction reported a new death related to the pandemic.
Statewide, 841 new cases were reported on Tuesday. That’s an increase from yesterday’s 791 new cases, but it also represents the third consecutive day in which new cases were less than 1,000. As testing ramped up, five of the last nine days have seen more than 1,000 new cases reported in a single day in Virginia.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported today that 1,362 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure is down nine from yesterday. Among those hospitalized, 336 are in intensive care (down 11 from yesterday) and 186 are on ventilators (down two).
Since the pandemic began, VHHA also reports that 6,011 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.
Only 15 deaths statewide were reported by VDH on Tuesday. That represents the fourth consecutive day with less than 20 COVID-19 deaths in Virginia.
A peak of 45 deaths on May 27, followed by a new peak of 57 on May 28, reflected an adjustment by VDH to its record keeping, in which they began to include “probable” deaths believed to be caused by COVID-19.
As of June 2, a total of 1,407 people have died since the first COVID-19 fatality was reported in Virginia on March 14.