By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Sept. 16 — The Virginia Department of Health reported two more deaths due to COVID-19 within the Lord Fairfax Health District on Wednesday. Both Page and Shenandoah counties reported a new fatality from the pandemic, bringing the health district’s death toll up to 106.
On Wednesday morning, Shenandoah County reported its 56th death, and Page its 29th, since the pandemic hit the region in late March. While the health district hit 50 deaths from COVID-19 by the end of May, it has taken more than three months to double that figure. However, while the district has only seen 13 deaths in September, it has reported eight in the last three days.
Due to privacy laws that protect detailed information about victims of COVID-19, it is hard to determine why these particular cases have lead to death. However, it has been widely reported that both Page and Shenandoah counties have seen the majority of their coronavirus fatalities occur in longterm care facilities, and among older residents in general. The same trend holds true for the state, across the country, and around the world.
Virginia reported 45 new pandemic deaths on Wednesday. That followed 96 newly reported deaths on Tuesday. That represents the largest two-day death toll reported since COVID-19 took the first life in Virginia on March 14. The state health department blamed the recent high numbers on a “data backlog.”
The Lord Fairfax Health District reported eight new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, with two each in Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren counties. However, Frederick County was the only locality within the health district to report a new hospitalization.
The two new cases in Page County were reported in the 22835 (Luray) area, according to ZIP code data provided by VDH.
A cumulative breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 2,962 reported cases, 262 hospitalizations and 106 deaths is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 823 — Frederick County (63-11)
- 793 — Shenandoah County (87-56)
- 471 — City of Winchester (35-4)
- 409 — Warren County (23-6)
- 378 — Page County (42-29)
- 88 — Clarke County (12-0)
Harrisonburg reported 24 more cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, after reporting 85 on Tuesday. Rockingham County has reported exactly 16 new cases of the coronavirus each of the last three days. Rockingham added two new hospitalizations on Tuesday, while Harrisonburg saw one Wednesday. Rockingham also reported one new death due to COVID-19 on Wednesday.
Statewide, 845 new cases were reported today, following 943 new cases yesterday. While Virginia’s daily count of new cases dropped off in June, it has remained roughly in the 800 to 1,200 range since early July. Those averages are higher than April, when the Commonwealth was shut down. With increased activity and more intermingling of people, some experts and pandemic models are calling for the state to reach a new peak in October. The Lord Fairfax Health District has been projected to peak again around Nov. 1.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported Wednesday that 1,027 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure is up 12 since yesterday.
Among those hospitalized, 212 are in intensive care, according to VHHA — down 16 since yesterday. Currently, there are 103 COVID-19 patients statewide on ventilators, down one since yesterday.
Since the pandemic hit Virginia, VHHA reports that 16,536 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/