By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Sept. 15 — The Virginia Department of Health reported five more deaths related to COVID-19 within the Lord Fairfax Health District on Tuesday.
The news pushed the health district passed a milestone, now totaling 104 pandemic deaths. Four of Tuesday’s deaths were reported in Shenandoah County, and one was in Page County. The health district has seen 11 deaths related to COVID-19 reported in September.
Shenandoah County has now reported 55 deaths since the pandemic reached the region in March, which places it among the top localities in Virginia for COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 residents. Page County, now with 28 pandemic deaths, sits among the Top 10 on that list as well, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
Statewide, 96 new deaths were reported on Tuesday morning — the highest one-day total since the first coronavirus death was reported in Virginia on March 14. The Commonwealth has seen its daily death toll exceed 40 only seven times during the pandemic, and only twice since Memorial Day.
However, the state health department made note of the spike by posting the following on its COVID-19 dashboard: “Regarding the death data for Tuesday, September 15, 2020, there is an existing data backlog. VDH is working diligently to identify COVID-19 related deaths using vital record death certificate information.”
A total of 15 new cases of the coronavirus were reported within the local health district on Tuesday, with the majority once again in Frederick County (six) and its county seat of Winchester (three).
Page County reported two more cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. That now makes nine new cases since Friday. Page only reported 10 cases of COVID-19 between Aug. 21 and Sept. 11 — a period of 22 days. Now, the county has seen nine cases reported in the last four days. That has increased the seven-day positivity rate for Page County to 6.2 percent (10 positives among 161 tests) — up from 4.9 percent a week ago.
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate currently stands at 7.1 percent — down from last week’s 7.7 percent.
The recent cases reported in Page County have surfaced in the following areas, according to ZIP code data provided by VDH:
- 4 cases — 22849 (Shenandoah area);
- 3 cases — 22835 (Luray area);
- 1 case — 22851 (Stanley area);
- 1 case — 22650 (Rileyville area).
Since Friday, the health district has seen a total of 49 new cases of COVID-19, with 15 in Frederick County, 10 in Winchester, seven in Warren County, six in Shenandoah County and two in Clarke County. The district saw no new hospitalizations on Tuesday, but reported four on Monday — including one in Page County.
A cumulative breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 2,954 reported cases, 261 hospitalizations and 104 deaths is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 821 — Frederick County (62-11)
- 791 — Shenandoah County (87-55)
- 471 — City of Winchester (35-4)
- 407 — Warren County (23-6)
- 376 — Page County (42-28)
- 88 — Clarke County (12-0)
Harrisonburg reported 85 more cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. The city has seen nearly 1,100 cases crop up since classes resumed at James Madison University in late August. Rockingham County has added another 81 cases since Friday, with 16 new cases reported on Tuesday. Neither jurisdiction has reported a death related to the virus since last Wednesday, while the two combined have seen four new hospitalizations in the past week.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported Tuesday that 1,015 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure is up nine since yesterday.
Among those hospitalized, 228 are in intensive care, according to VHHA — up eight since yesterday. Currently, there are 104 COVID-19 patients statewide on ventilators, down six since yesterday.
Since the pandemic hit Virginia, VHHA reports that 16,449 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.
To reference a chart created by the Virginia Public Access Project comparing COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 residents, including Page and Shenandoah counties, visit https://www.vpap.org/covid-19/embed/deaths-fips-percapita/