By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Aug. 16 — Page County, much like Virginia and the nation, continues to see a steady increase in new cases of COVID-19. While hospitalizations and deaths remain low locally, the county’s transmission rate remains high, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as the positivity rate sits in double-digits.
Page County reported 46 new cases of COVID-19 over the past week, after reporting 36 the previous week. Those new cases are generally spread out across the county, when viewed across the entire week, according to zip code data provided by the Virginia Department of Health:
• 16 cases — 22849 zip code (Shenandoah area);
• 13 cases — 22851 zip code (Stanley area);
• 13 cases — 22835 zip code (Luray area);
• 2 cases — 22650 zip code (Rileyville area).
However, the Shenandoah area — those in the 22849 zip code — saw a recent spike in the spread of the virus, with 11 new cases reported over the weekend. One hospitalization due to COVID was reported in the county over the weekend, but no pandemic deaths have been reported locally since July 30.
Page’s positivity rate currently stands at 11.2 percent — down slightly from Friday’s 12.5 percent, but up from last Monday’s 9.3 percent. Page County is the only locality within the Lord Fairfax Health District with a positivity rate in double digits.
The Lord Fairfax Health District reported 467 new cases of COVID-19 over the past week, up from 382 the previous week and 184 the week prior. Below is a breakdown of new cases reported in the last week and each locality’s current positivity rate within the health district:
• 172 — Frederick County — 7%
• 99 — Shenandoah County — 8%
• 62 — City of Winchester — 9.3%
• 47 — Warren County — 8.7%
• 46 — Page County — 11.2%
• 15 — Clarke County — 3.8%
The health district reported 20 hospitalization related to COVID over the past week, and two related deaths — one in Warren County on Thursday, and one in Shenandoah County over the weekend.
Over the past week, Virginia has averaged 2,058 new cases of COVID-19 per day — the highest average since February. Medical officials are warning that numbers could grow higher, drawing comparisons with late November of last year, when statewide numbers reached the same levels — and were still climbing. February’s figures represented a declining average as the pandemic eased out of the “dark winter.”
Statewide hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have risen to 1,137 — the highest level since April 22. Last Monday, that figure stood at 785. Currently, 281 patients are in intensive care being treated for COVID, while 47 deaths related to the virus were reported over the past week — up from 37 the previous week.
“The Delta variant is here in Virginia, and it is hitting our unvaccinated population especially hard,” State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D, M.A. said in a statement earlier this month.
A total of 210 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered in Page County over the past week — down from 244 the previous week. The number of local residents receiving at least one dose climbed by 132 in the last seven days (down from 165 the previous week), and the number of fully vaccinated residents increased by 87 (down from 96 the previous week). As of Monday’s report by VDH, a cumulative total of 17,958 vaccinations have been given locally, with 9,821 people in the county receiving at least one dose (41.1 percent of the population and 49.4 percent of adults) and 8,895 fully vaccinated (37.2 percent of the population and 45 percent of adults).
Statewide, Virginia has administered nearly 9.7 million doses of vaccine, with 5.3 million receiving at least one dose and more than 4.7 million individuals, or 66.3 percent of the adult population, being fully vaccinated.
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate is currently 8.2 percent — the highest rate since February and up from 7.3 percent last Monday and 6 percent the week prior. The state’s positivity rate has been rising consistently since July 4.
“We have a very effective tool to stop transmission of COVID-19: vaccination,” the state health commissioner said. “There is no question that COVID-19 vaccination is saving lives and preventing and reducing illness. I urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Do it for your families, your friends, your neighbors, yourself, and join the millions of others who are protected.”
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.