By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Dec. 20 — As new cases of COVID-19 continue to climb, Page County is now reporting its highest positivity rate of the pandemic, which currently ranks as the third-highest in Virginia. More than 1-in-4 people being tested for the coronavirus in Page are positive — and the worst of the pandemic’s “winter wave” is still yet to come.
The Virginia Department of Health has reported 143 new cases of COVID-19 in Page County since Dec. 13, including 52 cases over the weekend. A total of 117 cases were reported the previous week, and only 75 the week prior to that. At its late summer/early fall peak during the Delta-variant wave of the pandemic (around the third week of September), Page County reported 174 cases of the coronavirus in a single week.
Page County’s positivity rate has climbed again to 26.4 percent (as of Monday), after being reported at 23.5 percent a week ago and 11.6 percent the week prior. That’s the highest rate the county has seen since the first case of COVID-19 was reported on March 31, 2020. Page’s positivity rate is now the third-highest in Virginia. Here’s a look at the Top 10 “hot spots” in the commonwealth in terms of positivity rates for COVID-19:
- 33.3% — Highland County
- 28.4% — Campbell County
- 26.4% — Page County
- 22.8% — Botetourt County
- 22.4% — Franklin County
- 21.4% — Amherst County
- 19.8% — Floyd County
- 19.7% — Madison County
- 19.0% — Augusta County
- 18.0% — Surry County
Page County also saw five hospitalizations related to the virus over the past week, but no deaths were reported.
The Lord Fairfax Health District has reported 1,074 new cases of COVID-19 over the last seven days, slightly down from 1,137 the previous week. Page and Warren counties were the only two jurisdictions within the health district to show increases in both new cases and positivity rates this past week. Below is a breakdown of new cases reported since Dec. 13 and each localities’ positivity rate within the health district:
• 355 — Frederick County — 14.2%
• 207 — Shenandoah County — 14.4%
• 206 — Warren County — 16.8%
• 143 — Page County — 26.4%
• 110 — City of Winchester — 14.1%
• 53 — Clarke County — 13.9%
The health district reported 23 hospitalizations related to COVID over the past seven days and 10 related deaths. Frederick County reported five COVID-related deaths just over the weekend. Shenandoah County reported three deaths during the week, while Warren County reported two.
Over the past week, Virginia has averaged 3,286 new cases of COVID-19 per day — up from 2,520 the previous week. Statewide hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have risen to 1,436 — up from 1,278 the previous week and 1,077 the week prior to that. Currently, 368 patients are in intensive care being treated for COVID, with 208 on ventilators.
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate rose a fifth-consecutive week to 9.3 percent, after being reported at 8.7 percent last Monday and 7.6 percent the week prior. This is the commonwealth’s highest rate of positivity since late September.
Virginia reported 179 deaths related to COVID-19 over the past seven days, slightly down from 186 the previous week. The commonwealth has reported a total of 15,136 deaths from COVID-19 since March 14, 2020.
A total of 537 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered in Page County over the past week — slightly up from 518 the previous week. As of Monday’s report by VDH, a cumulative total of 25,460 vaccinations have been given locally, with 11,958 people in the county receiving at least one dose and 10,972 fully vaccinated (or 45.9 percent of the population). Page ranks as the 10th lowest rate in Virginia for the percentage of its population that is fully vaccinated.
A total of 3,499 in the county have received a third shot or booster for the COVID-19 vaccine (18.2 percent of the adult population in the county). More than 76 percent of the COVID-19 vaccinations administered in Page County over the past week (410) were booster shots.
Statewide, Virginia has administered about 13.6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with about 6.5 million receiving at least one dose and 5.7 million individuals, or 77.7 percent of the adult population, being fully vaccinated. About 1.8 million Virginians have received a third “booster” dose of the vaccine.
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.
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How can we believe the ten deaths were Covid related as if that’s the only reason?
“More people have died from choking on entrees this month than Omicron. The CDC can confirm that.”
Stop trying to create fear by not giving the complete story.