By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Sept. 27 — While new cases showed a slight decline over the past week, Page County’s seven-day positivity rate for COVID-19 spiked to one of its highest levels of the pandemic and currently sits as the sixth-highest rate in the state.
The Virginia Department of Health reported 153 cases of COVID-19 in Page over the past week, including 56 cases just over the weekend. That represents a seven-day average of about 22 new cases per day. However, this week’s total represents a 12-percent decline from the previous week’s 174 reported cases.
According to zip code data provided by the VDH, the new cases surfacing over the last seven days were distributed throughout the county as follows:
• 68 cases — Luray area (22835);
• 43 cases — Stanley area (22851);
• 20 cases — Shenandoah area (22849);
• 15 cases — Rileyville area (22650).
Among this week’s reported cases in the county, only three required hospitalization — however, two resulted in death. Page reported its 64th fatality from the pandemic on Tuesday, and its 65th on Friday.
Page County’s positivity rate has jumped to 22.6 percent, after sitting at 18.8 percent one week ago. This marks the highest positivity rate Page has posted since Dec. 31 (22.5 percent). The county has reported a rate of more than 20 percent on only three other occasions since the pandemic began in March 2020.
While most of the state is reporting double-digit positivity rates, only nine localities have topped 20 percent, and Page County currently ranks sixth (as of Monday, Sept. 27):
- 24.7% — Richmond County
- 24.6% — Floyd County
- 24.5% — Allegheny County
- 23.4% — Bath County
- 22.7% — Bland County
- 22.6% — Page County
- 22.2% — Highland County
- 21.0% — Appomattox County
- 20.6% — Campbell County
On July 12, Page County’s positivity rate stood at just 1.9 percent.
Page County Public Schools has reported 135 cases of COVID-19 within its buildings since opening on Aug. 23. Of those cases, 46 are still active. Three local schools — Shenandoah Elementary, Luray Elementary and Luray Middle — shut down temporarily due to COVID cases and quarantine due to exposure. As of Monday, all three schools are now open and resuming classroom instruction.
Since reporting its first case of COVID-19 on March 31, 2020, Page County has reported a total of 2,976 cases, 153 related hospitalizations and 65 fatalities.
The Lord Fairfax Health District has reported 1,060 new cases of COVID-19 over the last week — down slightly from 1,074 cases the previous week. Below is a breakdown of new cases reported since Sept. 20 and each locality’s current positivity rate within the health district:
• 341 — Frederick County — 6.9%
• 253 — Shenandoah County — 16.7%
• 184 — Warren County — 15.8%
• 153 — Page County — 22.6%
• 70 — City of Winchester — 11.6%
• 59 — Clarke County — 13.2%
The health district reported 25 hospitalizations related to COVID over the past week (same as the previous week), and 19 related deaths (compared to eight last week) — eight reported in Frederick County, five in Shenandoah County, four in Warren County, and two in Page County.
Over the past week, Virginia has averaged 3,102 new cases of COVID-19 per day — down 13.4 percent from 3,580 the previous week. Statewide hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have risen to 2,068 — down 4.2 percent from the previous week. Currently, 540 patients are in intensive care being treated for COVID, with 351 on ventilators.
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate is currently 9.2 percent — the lowest rate since Aug. 20 and down 6 percent from last Monday’s 9.8 percent.
Virginia reported 280 deaths related to COVID-19 over the past week — an average of 40 per day and up 25.6 percent from the previous week’s 223 reported deaths. The commonwealth has reported a total of 12,592 deaths from COVID-19 since March 14, 2020.
A total of 261 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered in Page County over the past week — down from 352 the previous week. As of Monday’s report by VDH, a cumulative total of 19,632 vaccinations have been given locally, with 10,767 people in the county receiving at least one dose and 9,721 fully vaccinated (or 40.7 percent of the population).
Below is a breakdown of how Page County stacks up within the health district among the percentage of the population that is fully vaccinated:
- 55.0% — Clarke County
- 51.6% — City of Winchester
- 47.4% — Frederick County
- 46.3% — Shenandoah County
- 41.7% — Warren County
- 40.7% — Page County
Statewide, Virginia has administered nearly 10.5 million doses of vaccine, with 5.8 million receiving at least one dose and more than 5.1 million individuals, or 71.5 percent of the adult population, being fully vaccinated.
The Virginia Department of Health reports that between Jan. 17, 2021 and Sept. 18, 2021, unvaccinated people developed COVID-19 at a rate of 7.4 times that of fully vaccinated people, and 2.4 times that of partially vaccinated people.
The data to support that statement relating to breakthrough cases stretches from Jan. 17 to Sept. 18 among 5 million fully vaccinated Virginians as follows:
• 0.5% — developed COVID (26,926)
• 0.021% — hospitalized due to COVID (1,053)
• 0.0054% — died from COVID (273)
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.