By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Jan. 6 — The Virginia Department of Health reported a record-high 5,387 new cases of COVID-19 across the state on Wednesday. That marks a third-straight day of increases and only the third time during the pandemic that the daily case count in the commonwealth has surpassed 5,000. Virginia saw 5,239 cases of the virus on New Year’s Eve, and 5,182 cases on New Year’s Day.
The state’s seven-day positivity rate has been climbing for eight consecutive days and is currently 16.7 percent.
With 110 new hospitalizations reported Wednesday, and another 139 on Tuesday, statewide hospitalizations for COVID-19 are at an overall record-high at 2,925, according to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. Among those patients, 537 are being treated in intensive care units — down 26 from Monday’s record-high of 563. Among those, 357 are currently on ventilators — the highest level yet, and up 20 from yesterday.
Across Virginia, 34 percent of all ventilators are in use, and the state’s ICU bed occupancy is currently 84 percent.
The state health department reported 35 deaths related to the pandemic on Wednesday, after reporting 59 on Tuesday. A total of 406 COVID-related deaths have been reported 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 5,226 people in Virginia have died from COVID-19 since March 14.
Page County has reported 48 new cases of COVID-19 in the last two days, with 23 cases reported Wednesday and 25 on Tuesday. Over the past week, the county has seen 139 coronavirus cases surface, averaging almost 20 new cases per day.
Page reported a new hospitalization on Tuesday, and its 34th fatality from the pandemic on Wednesday.
According to ZIP code data provided by VDH, the new cases of COVID-19 reported over the last two days in Page County surfaced in the following areas:
• 22 cases — Luray area (22835), with 13 cases reported Tuesday;
• 14 cases — Shenandoah area (22849), with 10 cases reported Wednesday;
• 11 cases — Stanley area (22851), with nine cases reported Tuesday;
• 1 case — Rileyville area (22650).
According to ZIP code data provided by VDH, the new cases of COVID-19 reported since Christmas in Page County surfaced in the following areas:
• 89 cases — Luray area (22835);
• 40 cases — Stanley area (22851);
• 38 cases — Shenandoah area (22849);
• 2 cases — Rileyville area (22650).
Page County currently has a seven-day positivity rate of 20.6 percent — down nearly two points from Monday, but the 12th consecutive day above 20 percent, according to Daily Locality Metrics data provided on the VDH website.
The Lord Fairfax Health District reported 163 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, after reporting 213 on Tuesday — only the fourth time the district has seen more than 200 cases reported in a single day. The health district’s two-day total of 376 new cases breaks down as follows — 141 reported in Frederick County, 82 in Shenandoah County, 57 in Warren County, 48 in Page County, 29 in Winchester and 19 in Clarke County.
The health district reported five hospitalizations over the last two days, all on Tuesday with three in Frederick County. There have been seven deaths reported in the district since Monday, with five on Tuesday — two each in Frederick County (31st and 32nd) and Winchester (15th and 16th), and one in Warren County (35th). Frederick and Page counties reported their 33rd and 34th deaths, respectively, on Wednesday.
A cumulative breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 11,390 reported cases, 538 hospitalizations and 197 deaths is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 4,103 — Frederick County (149-33)
- 2,461 — Shenandoah County (146-74)
- 1,741 — City of Winchester (77-16)
- 1,508 — Warren County (69-35)
- 1,154 — Page County (76-34)
- 423 — Clarke County (21-5)
On Wednesday, Harrisonburg and Rockingham County saw a huge spike in COVID-19 cases, with 66 reported in the city and 104 reported in the county. Rockingham reported two new hospitalizations, while Harrisonburg reported its 46th fatality from the pandemic.
As of Wednesday morning, 116,247 people in Virginia had been vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, among the 481,550 doses that have been distributed to facilities and agencies across the state.
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