By Randy Arrington
LURAY, May 29 — Overall, Friday’s report from the Virginia Department of Health showed only modest gains in new cases of COVID-19 within the Lord Fairfax Health District.
Shenandoah County continues to lead the district with 15 new cases reported on Friday, as well as the district’s only new hospitalization. Shenandoah also reported one of the district’s two new deaths on Friday; the other being in Winchester.
During the month of May, Shenandoah County has outpaced the rest of the health district in all categories related to the pandemic. On April 29, Shenandoah reported only 95 cases of the novel coronavirus; today they have 429 reported cases, along with 44 hospitalizations and 21 related deaths. Shenandoah has seen eight hospitalizations and four deaths in the last four days.
Across the health district, a total of 42 new cases were reported on Friday morning, with 12 coming from Frederick County, eight in Winchester and five in Warren County (in addition to the 15 in Shenandoah County).
Clarke and Page counties each saw only one new case on Friday, as the health district recorded its ninth day this month (and third consecutive day) that all six jurisdictions reported new cases on the same day. A breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 1,321 total cases is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 429 — Shenandoah County (44-21)
- 331 — Frederick County (23-4)
- 214 — Page County (24-21)
- 176 — City of Winchester (11-2)
- 146 — Warren County (14-2)
- 25 — Clarke County (3-0)
VDH issued an updated ZIP code breakdown of cases and testing on Friday morning that now shows all cases in Page County (with the exception of the one new case reported today).
For the first time, state health officials released the number of cases for the Rileyville area. Those numbers were previously suppressed by the state for fear of revealing the identity of the sick in a small, rural area, which would violate strict privacy laws designed to protect the patient. This data remains suppressed for many small areas across the state.
The ZIP code breakdown for COVID-19 cases in Page County as of May 28 is as follows:
- ZIP code 22835 (Luray) — 134 cases, 340 tested;
- ZIP code 22851 (Stanley) — 58 cases, 135 tested;
- ZIP code 22849 (Shenandoah) — 15 cases, 121 tested;
- ZIP code 22650 (Rileyville) — 6 cases, 12 tested.
It should be noted that ZIP codes extend well beyond town limits, so the numbers above are not necessarily tied to that particular town.
Across the Massanutten Mountain, Harrisonburg reported eight new cases on Friday, while Rockingham County had 15. However, neither jurisdiction reported any new hospitalizations or deaths related to the pandemic.
Statewide, 1,132 new cases were reported today. Four of the last five days have seen new cases rise by more than 1,000 in Virginia. Yet, as new cases continue to climb along with testing efforts statewide, only 87 new hospitalizations surfaced on Friday, and the number of new pandemic deaths was down as well.
Only 20 new fatalities surfaced this morning, bringing the state’s total to 1,358 since the first death from COVID-19 was reported on March 14.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported today that 1,524 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure is up 22 from yesterday and has increased by 121 over three days. Among those hospitalized, 373 are in intensive care (down 43 from yesterday) and 193 are on ventilators (down 10 over two days).
Since the pandemic began, VHHA also reports that 5,648 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.