By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Jan. 4 — Across the U.S., it took nearly 10 months to reach 10 million infections of COVID-19. The next 10 million — doubling the total case count — occurred over the last two months. As of midday Monday, there were 20,640,214 reported cases of the novel coronavirus in the country, along with 351,590 related deaths.
Virginia has seen its case count more than double since Halloween, with a 54.5-percent increase in COVID-19 cases and a 26.3-percent rise in deaths since the start of December. Hospitalizations are at a record-high, with 2,765 patients as of Monday confirmed to have COVID-19 or awaiting test results, according to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association.
ICU bed occupancy across the region stands at 83.4 percent, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
The Lord Fairfax Health District has seen a 69.2-percent increase in COVID-19 cases in the past month, and a 57.4-percent rise in hospitalizations related to the virus in the last two months. The 45 pandemic fatalities reported within the health district during December were only surpassed by the 46 deaths it reported in May.
Page County’s case count has grown more than 45 percent in the past month, with a dozen more cases reported on Monday after 14 surfaced on Sunday. The two-day total of 26 cases shows a slight decline from the 54 cases reported the previous two days.
Page County’s seven-day positivity rate now matches its 14-day positivity rate at 22.3 percent, according to Daily Locality Metrics data and School Metrics data provided on the VDH website. That’s nearly a full point jump from yesterday and just two-tenths below the record-high. On Nov. 16, the 14-day positivity rate stood at 3.4 percent.
The health district reported 117 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, after reporting 138 on Sunday. Both days showed a dramatic drop-off from the record-high of 240 cases reported on Saturday. Frederick County showed 34 new cases surfacing on Monday, followed by Shenandoah County with 33. Warren County reported 18 new cases, while Winchester had 16.
The district has reported four hospitalizations in the last two days, with two in Frederick County and one each in Shenandoah County and Winchester. There have been no deaths related to the pandemic reported in the district since Saturday’s report of five fatalities from the virus.
A cumulative breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 11,014 reported cases, 533 hospitalizations and 190 deaths is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 3,962 — Frederick County (146-30)
- 2,379 — Shenandoah County (145-74)
- 1,712 — City of Winchester (77-14)
- 1,451 — Warren County (69-34)
- 1,106 — Page County (75-33)
- 404 — Clarke County (21-5)
On Monday, Harrisonburg reported 22 new cases of COVID-19, while Rockingham County had 39. However on Sunday, the city showed 70 new cases, while the county reported 112. Rockingham has reported three new hospitalizations over the past two days.
Statewide, 3,771 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Monday, following 5,010 cases on Sunday — marking only the third time the state has surpassed 5,000 new cases in a single day.
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate climbed a full point over the past two days and currently stands at 15.8 percent, according to the VDH.
As of Monday morning, 89,326 people in Virginia had been vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, among the 451,075 doses that have been distributed to facilities and agencies across the state.
The state health department has reported 312 deaths related to the pandemic since Christmas. Virginia surpassed the 5,000-death mark on New Year’s Eve, after surpassing 4,000 the day before Thanksgiving. A total of 5,132 people in Virginia have died from COVID-19 since March 14.