By Randy Arrington
LURAY, June 1 — Data provided by the Virginia Department of Health over the weekend was encouraging, but the main question is will the COVID-19 pandemic continue to taper down?
New cases are still being reported, but in many localities at a slower pace than in previous weeks.
Page County reported five new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and 11 new cases over the weekend. However, while new cases continue to crop up, Page has only seen one person hospitalized from the virus in the last three days, and no new deaths reported in the last nine days.
A ZIP code breakdown shows where the new cases have been showing up in Page County over the past week (cases assigned to town by ZIP code):
- May 25 — 9 new cases — 7 Luray, 2 Stanley;
- May 26 — 2 cases — 1 Luray, 1 Stanley;
- May 27-28 (no report May 27) — 14 cases — 5 Luray, 4 Stanley, 3 Shenandoah, 2 Rileyville;
- Friday, May 29-30 (no report May 29)— 6 cases — 3 Stanley, 3 Shenandoah;
- Sunday, May 31 — 1 case — Luray.
It should be noted that ZIP codes expand well beyond town limits, and in some cases, a resident’s address may be misleading in terms of which town they are closest to.
The biggest change has been seen in Shenandoah, where seven new cases have been reported in the past week. Up to Memorial Day, Shenandoah had only seen 11 cases since the pandemic began.
A complete ZIP code breakdown for Page County, including cases and tests, is as follows (as of May 31):
- ZIP code 22835 (Luray) — 135 cases, 427 tested (positivity rate of 31.6 percent);
- ZIP code 22851 (Stanley) — 61 cases, 145 tested (positivity rate of 42.1 percent);
- ZIP code 22849 (Shenandoah) — 18 cases, 137 tested (positivity rate of 13.1 percent);
- ZIP code 22650 (Rileyville) — 6 cases, 13 tested (positivity rate of 46.2 percent).
Although local testing for COVID-19 has not risen to a level to get a true representation of the spread throughout the community, state officials are hoping to reach a positivity rate of less than 10 percent before feeling they have a handle on the virus in a given community.
The Lord Fairfax Health District saw 28 new cases of COVID-19 surface on Monday, with a total of 97 new cases reported over the weekend. Yet, despite the high number of new cases spread throughout the health district, the five-county area only saw three new hospitalizations over the weekend. The health district has not reported a new death related to the pandemic in the past five days.
A breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 1,418 total cases is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 458 — Shenandoah County (44-21)
- 359 — Frederick County (23-4)
- 225 — Page County (25-21)
- 191 — City of Winchester (12-2)
- 157 — Warren County (14-2)
- 28 — Clarke County (3-0)
Harrisonburg and Rockingham had a combined 68 new cases reported over the weekend, but with only three hospitalized and no new deaths.
Statewide, 791 new cases were reported Monday, the lowest one-day increase in the past week. A total of 2,865 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Virginia over the weekend, with five of the last eight days showing increases of more than 1,000 new cases. Much of the increase in new cases can be attributed to a higher number of tests being administered.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported today that 1,371 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure is down 87 from yesterday, and it decreased by 153 over the weekend. Among those hospitalized, 347 are in intensive care (down 24 from yesterday) and 188 are on ventilators (down eight).
Since the pandemic began, VHHA also reports that 5,899 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.
Only 17 deaths related to the pandemic were reported by VDH on Monday, and only 34 since Friday. That’s the lowest three-day total for COVID-19 deaths in Virginia since mid-April. By comparison, the three-day period prior to this reported 122 deaths statewide.
Through May 31, a total of 1,392 people have died from the pandemic in Virginia since the first death was reported on March 14.