By Randy Arrington
LURAY, June 20 — The Shenandoah Valley continues to see the number of new COVID-19 cases remain low, but three consecutive days of increases in new cases statewide seems to indicate Virginia is far from done with the coronavirus pandemic.
The Virginia Department of Health reported 650 new cases of COVID-19 statewide on Saturday, which followed 555 new cases reported on Friday and 463 on Thursday. However, despite the rise in new cases, Virginia saw only 10 new hospitalizations on Saturday — a drastic decline from the 53 reported on Friday.
Another piece of positive news in Saturday’s report was in the category of new virus-related deaths — only five were reported statewide by VDH. That represents a significant drop from the 16 reported on Friday. Only three new pandemic deaths were reported on Thursday. A total of 1,607 people in Virginia have died from COVID-19 since March 14.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported Saturday that 880 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure has remained below 1,000 for the last eight days after spending the last two months above that mark.
However, despite the overall decline in June, the number of statewide hospitalizations has risen for the past three days. In addition, the number of patients who are critically ill has risen as well.
Among those hospitalized, 267 are in intensive care, according to VHHA — up 16 since yesterday, and up 26 over the past two days. Currently, there are 133 patients statewide on ventilators — that figure is up 12 since yesterday.
Since the pandemic began, VHHA also reports that 7,607 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.
Across the Lord Fairfax Health District, 19 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the last two days. Shenandoah County reported six new cases, Frederick County had five, Winchester reported three, Page and Warren counties had two, and Clarke saw one.
While no new hospitalizations were reported within the health district on Saturday, six surfaced on Friday. Shenandoah County and the City of Winchester each had two new hospitalizations on Friday, while Frederick and Warren counties each had one. No new pandemic deaths have been reported within the health district in the past four days.
A breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s total cases of COVID-19 is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 536 — Shenandoah County (54-27)
- 449 — Frederick County (32-4)
- 279 — City of Winchester (21-3)
- 261 — Page County (28-24)
- 236 — Warren County (16-4)
- 44 — Clarke County (4-0)
Page County saw no new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, but two were reported on Friday. ZIP code data provided by VDH only shows one new case surfacing in the Town of Shenandoah on Friday, but it does not account for the other new case.
Using the ZIP code data breakdown, both the Town of Shenandoah and the Town of Stanley have seen four new cases reported in the past week, while Luray has had only one. The current ZIP code breakdown for Page County (as of June 19) is as follows:
- 22835 (Luray) — 152 cases, 547 tests, 27.8% positivity rate;
- 22851 (Stanley) — 70 cases, 204 tests, 34.3% positivity rate;
- 22849 (Shenandoah) — 34 cases, 216 tests, 15.7% positivity rate.
Page County has not seen a new hospitalization related to COVID-19 in seven days, and the last death related to the pandemic was reported June 2, when Page saw three new deaths, bringing the county’s total from 21 to 24.
Across the Massanutten Mountain, the City of Harrisonburg has seen 15 new cases reported in the last two days, while Rockingham County has seen 10. However, neither jurisdiction has seen an increase in hospitalizations or deaths in the past three days.