By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Sept. 20 — For the second-straight week, Page County has reported a death related to COVID-19. The recent fatality marks the county’s 63rd of the pandemic. The past week also saw six hospitalizations due to the virus, as well as a 31-percent increase in new cases being reported.
The Virginia Department of Health reported 174 cases of COVID-19 over the past week in Page County, including 70 cases reported just over the weekend. That’s a seven-day average of nearly 25 new cases each day. The previous week saw 133 cases reported in the county.
Page County’s positivity rate has jumped to 18.8 percent, after sitting at 13 percent two weeks ago. On July 12, the rate stood at just 1.9 percent.
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:
• 84 cases — Luray area (22835);
• 44 cases — Stanley area (22851);
• 42 cases — Shenandoah area (22849);
• 6 cases — Rileyville area (22650).
Page County Public Schools has reported 120 cases of COVID-19 within its buildings since opening on Aug. 23. Of those cases, 65 are still active. Three local schools — Shenandoah Elementary, Luray Elementary and Luray Middle — are shut down through Wednesday due to COVID cases and quarantine due to exposure. All three schools are scheduled to reopen on Thursday, Sept. 23.
Since reporting its first case of COVID-19 on March 31, 2020, Page County has reported a total of 2,823 cases, 150 related hospitalizations and 63 fatalities.
The Lord Fairfax Health District has reported 1,074 new cases of COVID-19 over the last week — up from 965 cases the previous week. Below is a breakdown of new cases reported since Sept. 13 and each locality’s current positivity rate within the health district:
• 328 — Frederick County — 9.0%
• 238 — Shenandoah County — 18.7%
• 210 — Warren County — 15.5%
• 174 — Page County — 18.8%
• 88 — City of Winchester — 8.5%
• 36 — Clarke County — 10.5%
The health district reported 25 hospitalizations related to COVID over the past week (22 the previous week), and eight related deaths — four reported in Frederick County, three in Shenandoah County and one in Page County.
Over the past week, Virginia has averaged 3,580 new cases of COVID-19 per day — up from 3,453 the previous week, a 4-percent increase. Statewide hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have risen to 2,158 — the highest level since Feb. 10. Currently, 549 patients are in intensive care being treated for COVID, with 344 on ventilators.
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate is currently 9.8 percent, down from 10.9 percent a week ago and the lowest its been since Aug. 25.
Virginia reported 223 deaths related to COVID-19 over the past week — an average of 32 per day and up from 160 deaths the previous week, a 28.3-percent increase. The commonwealth has reported a total of 12,312 deaths from COVID-19 since March 14, 2020.
A total of 352 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered in Page County over the past week — up from 221 the previous week. As of Monday’s report by VDH, a cumulative total of 19,371 vaccinations have been given locally, with 10,852 people in the county receiving at least one dose and 9,363 fully vaccinated.
Below is a breakdown of how Page County stacks up within the health district among the percentage of the population that is fully vaccinated:
- 53.9% — Clarke County
- 49.5% — City of Winchester
- 46% — Frederick County
- 45.2% — Shenandoah County
- 40.3% — Warren County
- 39.2% — 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 million individuals, or 70.3 percent of the adult population, being fully vaccinated.
The Virginia Department of Health reports that between Jan. 17, 2021 and Sept. 4, 2021, unvaccinated people developed COVID-19 at a rate of 8.5 times that of fully vaccinated people, and 2.4 times that of partially vaccinated people.
The data to support that statement stretches from January to Labor Day weekend among nearly 5 million fully vaccinated Virginians as follows:
• 0.4% — developed COVID (20,134)
• 0.017% — hospitalized due to COVID (827)
• 0.0038% — died from COVID (184)
As a point of reference, during that same time period — Jan. 17, 2021 through Sept. 4, 2021 — Virginia reported 338,862 cases of COVID-19, along with 14,113 hospitalizations and 6,170 deaths.
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.