By Randy Arrington
LURAY, May 18 — While most of the Lord Fairfax Health District saw modest gains over the weekend, Shenandoah County continues to be the “hot spot” of the region at this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Virginia Department of Health has reported 34 new cases of the coronavirus in Shenandoah County over the last three days. In addition, there have been four new hospitalizations and one related death during that time.
The total number of reported COVID-19 cases in Shenandoah County has tripled in 19 days — from 95 reported cases on April 29 to a district-leading 319 cases reported Monday morning. Shenandoah also has the highest number of hospitalizations in the health district and sits second in the number of virus-related fatalities.
Both Page and Warren counties only saw three new cases of COVID-19 reported over the weekend, while Clarke County actually had one reported case removed from their cumulative total (most likely a reporting error or reclassification of the illness).
A ZIP code breakdown of cases reported within Page County indicates that all three new cases reported over the weekend were in the Luray (22835) area.
Frederick County picked up eight new cases over the weekend, with one hospitalized; while Winchester reported four new cases with no new hospitalizations. A breakdown by jurisdiction of total cases within the health district is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 319 — Shenandoah County (28-12)
- 217 — Frederick County (16-3)
- 161 — Page County (19-16)
- 99 — Warren County (11-2)
- 84 — City of Winchester (4-1)
- 18 — Clarke County (2-0)
Harrisonburg, previously a “hot spot” in the region, only saw two new cases of COVID-19 reported over the weekend. The Friendly City has not reported any new hospitalizations or deaths over the past three days. Rockingham County had 10 new cases over the weekend, with three hospitalized and no reported deaths.
Statewide, 1,457 new cases of COVID-19 were reported over the weekend. While that figure sounds high, it’s the lowest two-day total of new cases in about two weeks.
A second promising trend is the continued decline in statewide deaths related to the pandemic. Virginia reported only 12 COVID-19 deaths over the weekend. It marked the first time that the state’s daily death toll was in single digits for two consecutive days since April 13-14. However, since the first virus-related fatality was reported on March 14, a total of 1,014 residents of Virginia have died.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported on Monday that 1,502 patients are currently hospitalized in the state who have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure is down from 1,524 the previous day.
Among those currently hospitalized, 361 are in intensive care (down 18) and 194 are on ventilators (down one), according to VHHA.
The hospital association also reports that 4,107 people in the state who were confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.
Fairfax County continues to lead the state in all categories related to the COVID-19 pandemic:
- 7,843 cases — next closest is 3,759 in Prince William County, where the first case was reported in Virginia on March 7;
- 1,100 hospitalizations — next closest, Prince William, 355;
- 284 deaths — next closest, Henrico County with 113.