UPDATED: Quiet weekend across region; a few new cases, but not much else

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COVID-19 Coronavirus in Page County, Virginia
Page Valley News will have continuing coverage of the Coronavirus' impact on Page County.

UPDATED May 12 — Page County saw no new cases of COVID-19 reported on Tuesday. However, the Lord Fairfax Health District reported 23 new cases — mostly in Shenandoah (10) and Frederick (9) counties. Winchester reported its first fatality related to the pandemic on Tuesday. Shenandoah also reported one new death related to COVID-19.

By Randy Arrington

LURAY, May 11 — Mother’s Day weekend proved to be the quietest few days in the northern Shenandoah Valley since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Virginia Department of Health reported 19 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the Lord Fairfax Health District over the weekend. After posting daily increases ranging from 30 to 40 new cases per day for five consecutive days leading up to the weekend, VDH reported 10 new cases in the district on Saturday and nine on Sunday. 

Although it may be too early to declare a consistent downward trend in new cases, the weekend’s totals for the health district were the lowest, consecutive two-day increases since April 27-28.

Page County only saw one new case of COVID-19 reported over the weekend. The bulk of new cases in the district over those two days were reported in Shenandoah (8), Frederick (4) and Warren (4) counties.

However, while the coronavirus continues to slowly spread, there have been no new hospitalizations or deaths related to the current pandemic reported in the five-county health district for the past three days. Here’s a breakdown of total cases in the health district as of Monday (hospitalizations – deaths):

  • 250 — Shenandoah County (22-6)
  • 166 — Frederick County (14-2)
  • 129 — Page County (13-12)
  • 86 — Warren County (9-1)
  • 66 — City of Winchester (2-0)
  • 16 — Clarke County (2-0)

The same weekend trend was seen in Harrisonburg, where only five new cases of the virus were reported. And while Rockingham County had 21 new cases reported, the two localities combined only had one new hospitalization and no new deaths.

It has been just over 40 days since the first confirmed COVID-19 case at Accordius Health in Harrisonburg. The facility reports that 22 residents have died as a result of the outbreak at the South Avenue longterm care facility, but 75 have now recovered. That total of 97 equals the total number of beds at Accordius. On April 18, the facility reported that 81 residents had tested positive for COVID-19, along with 12 staff members.

Accordius now reports there is no sign of active infection at the facility, and families may be able to visit their loved ones soon.

On Monday morning, Jill Irby, administrator of Skyview Springs Rehab and Nursing Center in Luray, said the number of fatalities related to an outbreak discovered there on April 21 remains at 14. Irby confirmed that one resident who tested positive for COVID-19 also remains hospitalized at Winchester Medical Center. Those figures remain unchanged from Friday.

Longterm care facilities have accounted for more than half of the confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Virginia (470 of 812 deaths as of May 7), while only accounting for 14 percent of the overall reported cases statewide. These facilities have also been the site of 150 of the 260 reported outbreaks in Virginia.

Across the state 989 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Monday (one-day increase) and 1,874 for the weekend (two days). While the daily increases in new cases across Virginia has leveled off over the last two weeks, there has been no clear sign of a decline. 

It’s also harder to read the trend in new cases, since testing has ramped up considerably in recent weeks. Increased testing usually means an increase in reported cases.

Virginia has reported 25,070 cases of COVID-19 since March 7, and the cumulative total is still rising by nearly 1,000 cases per day. However, hospitalizations have recently climbed by less than 100 per day.

According to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, on Monday there were 1,504 patients hospitalized who are either confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. Among those, 362 are in intensive care and 194 are on ventilators.

The VHHA also reports that 3,273 people who were confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.

The most positive news about Monday’s VDH report is that the daily fatalities related to the current pandemic are going down in Virginia. The state saw only 11 new COVID-19 deaths reported on Monday. There were 12 deaths reported Sunday, and 15 on Saturday. 

The three days prior to that saw statewide deaths grow by 29, 56 and 43. Since the first COVID-19 fatality was reported in Virginia on March 14 — a total of 850 have died.

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