By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Sept. 7 — For the first time since late January, Page County has reported more than 100 new cases of COVID-19 in a single week. The Lord Fairfax Health District has seen nearly 1,000 new cases since Aug. 30, and Virginia has averaged 3,212 new cases per day over the last seven days.
The Virginia Department of Health has reported a total of 132 new cases of COVID-19 in Page County since Aug. 30, with 64 of those cases being reported since Friday. The previous week saw 74 new cases of the virus reported in the county, while the week prior to that had 54. More than half of the new cases reported in Page over the past week (68) have surfaced in the Luray area (22835), according to zip code data provided by the VDH.
Page’s positivity rate remains at 13 percent as of Sept. 6 — unchanged over the last week. Page County still maintains one of the highest positivity rates within the health district (only surpassed by Warren County), as well as the lowest vaccination rate. The county reported six hospitalizations due to COVID over the past week, but no related deaths have been reported since July 30.
Since reporting its first case of COVID-19 on March 31, 2020, Page County has reported 2,516 cases, 134 related hospitalizations and 61 fatalities.
The Lord Fairfax Health District reported 969 new cases of COVID-19 over the past week, up from 814 the previous week and 527 the week before that. Below is a breakdown of new cases reported since Aug. 30 and each locality’s current positivity rate within the health district:
• 313 — Frederick County — 7.2%
• 216 — Warren County — 13.3%
• 132 — Page County — 13%
• 119 — City of Winchester — 11.3%
• 62 — Shenandoah County — 12.7%
• 22 — Clarke County — 3.2%
The health district reported 26 hospitalizations related to COVID over the past week (same as the previous week), and two related deaths — both in Frederick County, one on Thursday and one over the Labor Day weekend.
A rise in new cases of COVID-19 has been seen all across the region and the state since early July, with August showing even sharper increases. Model projections of the pandemic created at the University of Virginia previously showed a projected peak of late September. Now, those models are pushing that projected peak back to mid-October at even higher levels.
Over the past week, Virginia has averaged 3,212 new cases of COVID-19 per day — the highest average since early-February. Statewide hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have risen to 1,981 — a 12-percent increase over the past week, which follows a 30-percent increase the previous week. Currently, 483 patients are in intensive care being treated for COVID — a 13-percent rise in the last seven days.
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate is currently 10 percent. The rate has been steady over the past 10 days, reaching a high of 10.4 percent on Thursday.
Virginia reported 137 deaths related to COVID-19 over the past week — down from 167 deaths the previous week. The commonwealth has reported a total of 11,947 deaths from COVID-19 since March 14, 2020.
A total of 252 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered in Page County over the past week — down from 362 the previous week. The number of local residents receiving at least one dose climbed by 134 in the last seven days (215 the previous week), and the number of fully vaccinated residents increased by 135 (down from 182 the previous week). As of Tuesday’s report by VDH, a cumulative total of 18,798 vaccinations have been given locally, with 10,303 people in the county receiving at least one dose (43.1 percent of the population and 51.6 percent of adults) and 9,314 fully vaccinated (39 percent of the population and 46.9 percent of adults).
Statewide, Virginia has administered more than 10 million doses of vaccine, with more than 5.5 million receiving at least one dose and nearly 5 million individuals, or 68.5 percent of the adult population, being fully vaccinated.
The Lord Fairfax Health District is hosting a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8 at the Luray VFW Post just off Route 211 east of Luray.
Dr. Colin Greene, the director of the Lord Fairfax Health District, will among three panelists discussing the COVID-19 pandemic during an online presentation “Health Check” by the Page County Public Forum at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8.
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.