By Randy Arrington
LURAY, July 31 — As the COVID-19 pandemic slows down in the northern Shenandoah Valley with only a modest increase in new cases, the Virginia Department of Health reported two new deaths due to the coronavirus in Shenandoah County on Friday morning.
That brings Shenandoah County’s death toll to 42 — the highest in the Lord Fairfax Health District. The county has struggled with five outbreaks at longterm care facilities, as well as a number of cases stemming from meat processing plants. In total, Shenandoah County has reported 667 cases of COVID-19, with 70 hospitalizations.
In the last two days, Winchester reported the health district’s only hospitalization, while Shenandoah County reported the only deaths related to the pandemic.
The state health department reported 18 new cases within the district since Wednesday. One new case in Page County reported on Thursday was found not to be COVID-19 and subtracted from the county’s cumulative total on Friday. That case was located in the 22835 ZIP code area near Luray, according to VDH.
Frederick County continues to lead the health district in recent new cases, with seven over the last two days. Warren County reported four new cases since Wednesday, and Clarke County added three (all on Thursday). No other jurisdiction in the district reported more than two.
A cumulative breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 2,456 reported cases, 214 hospitalizations and 84 deaths is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 667 — Shenandoah County (70-42)
- 651 — Frederick County (49-7)
- 391 — City of Winchester (29-4)
- 348 — Warren County (23-7)
- 330 — Page County (36-24)
- 69 — Clarke County (7-0)
Rockingham County reported 12 new cases of COVID-19 over the last two days, with one new fatality on Thursday. Harrisonburg only reported two new cases since Wednesday, with one new hospitalization reported Thursday.
Statewide, 33 deaths related to COVID-19 were reported on Friday. That’s the highest one-day death toll since May 28, when Virginia hit a peak in its death rate at 57. VDH reported 30 deaths on Wednesday. A total of 2,174 COVID-19 patients in Virginia have died since March 14.
Across the Commonwealth, 984 new cases of the coronavirus were reported on Friday. New cases have remained above 900 per day since hitting a peak of 1,505 on Monday.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported Friday that 1,334 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure is down 23 since yesterday, but remains above 1,300 for the third consecutive day. Hospitalizations have not been at this level in Virginia since early June.
Among those hospitalized, 279 are in intensive care, according to VHHA — down five from yesterday, after climbing by eight on Thursday. Currently, there are 145 COVID-19 patients statewide on ventilators. That figure is down 10 over the last two days.
Since the pandemic hit Virginia in mid-February, VHHA reports that 11,937 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.