By Randy Arrington
LURAY, April 27 — Five new cases of COVID-19 were reported over the weekend in Page County by the Virginia Department of Health.
That brings the total number of cases in Page to 87, with nine hospitalizations and no deaths.
On Sunday, the Lord Fairfax Health District issued a press release stating that 59 residents of Skyview Springs Rehab and Nursing in Luray had tested positive for COVID-19, but “not all have developed symptoms.”
“The staff at Skyview continue to provide compassionate care to all the residents, and they are coordinating closely with Valley Health when a higher level of care is needed,” the VDH press release states. “Several initially sent to hospitals have been able to return to the facility.”
Sunday’s announcement explains the large, overnight increase of 52 new cases reported in Page County on Saturday morning. Residents and staff of Skyview Springs were all tested on Wednesday, April 22 after the first confirmed case was reported at the long term care facility.
Dr. Colin Greene, director of the local health district, stated in Sunday’s press release that the outbreak at Skyview Springs is still in its early stages.
“We’re encouraged that as of the time of this writing, there have been no deaths in the facility,” said Dr. Greene, “but we must caution that we are very early in the course of this outbreak, and that it is not uncommon for elderly patients with COVID-19 to have mild symptoms for several days before developing much more severe disease, some of which may lead to death. For this reason, all involved are paying very close attention to events at the facility.”
Skyview Springs is working on a daily basis with the local health district and VDH, Valley Health System, local government officials in the town and county, as well as staff and corporate leadership to contain the outbreak, according to the press release.
While the press release only speaks directly to tests conducted on residents at Skyview, the Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg reports that “an undisclosed number of staff members also tested positive, and they have been instructed to stay at home.” PVN has been unable to confirm that information.
“The community at large has rallied to assist with supplies, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), food and overall encouragement, including a drive-by parade this past weekend,” the VDH press release states. “The support of the community for the residents and for caretakers has been heartwarming.
“Family members inquiring about loved ones in the facility should call (540) 743-4571 and ask to speak with Charleen Pettit, who will be able to provide a daily status update,” the press release continues. “General questions about COVID-19 disease should be directed to the Page County Health Department at (540) 743-6529, the LFHD information line at (540) 771-3992, or the VDH line at (877) ASK-VDH3.”
Across the five-county health district, only 15 new cases of the novel coronavirus were reported over the weekend, with one-third of those being reported in Page County. The VDH also reported six new cases in Shenandoah County, two in Warren and two in Frederick.
After Shenandoah reported the health district’s first death from COVID-19 on Saturday, a second death was reported in Shenandoah County on Monday morning. The breakdown of total COVID-19 cases within the health district follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 95 — Frederick County (11-0)
- 87 — Page County (9-0)
- 78 — Shenandoah County (10-2)
- 44 — Warren County (3-0)
- 33 — City of Winchester (1-0)
- 7 — Clarke County (1-0)
The biggest one-week gains within the LFHD have shown up in Page, Shenandoah and Warren counties. A breakdown of new cases reported since Monday, April 20:
- 73 — Page County
- 37 — Shenandoah County
- 20 — Warren County
- 14 — Frederick County
- 8 — City of Winchester
- 1 — Clarke County
VDH reports that Virginia now has a total of 199 outbreaks of COVID-19, with 113 in long term care facilities, where there have been 1,320 confirmed cases and 106 deaths. There are 11 outbreaks within the local health district.
With one-quarter of all COVID-19 deaths in Virginia occurring in patients from long term care facilities, Governor Ralph Northam created a task force earlier this month to focus on that high-risk group.
Statewide, testing continues to increase, with more than 8,000 tests conducted over the weekend in Virginia. Gov. Northam has stated that he wants to see testing reach a level of 10,000 per day as one criteria to reopening the Commonwealth. The state has doubled testing over the last two weeks.
A total of 3,006 people have been tested within the Lord Fairfax Health District.
Virginia reported 1,189 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, for a total of 13,535. Among that total, 2,066 have been hospitalized and 458 have died from the highly contagious virus (up 24 over the weekend).
However, the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reports that 1,843 patients hospitalized in Virginia with confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been treated and released.
As of Monday morning, the VHHA reports that 1,455 current patients in Virginia hospitals have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. Among that total of hospitalized patients, 389 are in intensive care and 217 are on ventilators. Those numbers are down slightly from last week.
Only 21 percent of the state’s ventilators are in use, according to VHHA, with 5,433 hospital beds still available.
The City of Harrisonburg reported only 13 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend for a total of 383, with 25 hospitalizations and nine deaths. Rockingham County reports another 193 cases (nine new cases over the weekend), with 14 hospitalizations and one death.
The top “hot spots” in the state, in terms of total cases as of Monday, include (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 3,002 — Fairfax County (522-100)
- 1,353 — Prince William County (137-20)
- 836 — Arlington County (144-32)
- 817 — Henrico County (116-89)
- 628 — Loudoun County (78-12)
- 627 — Alexandria (79-18)
- 457 — Chesterfield County (39-18)
- 355 — Virginia Beach (72-10)
Projections for Virginia’s peak number of cases range from April 23 to early August. Currently the governor’s order to close all non-essential businesses extends through May 8, and his Stay At Home Order last until June 10.
Virginia’s first reported case came from Prince William County on March 7. However, health officials believe the first illnesses in the state may have started the week of Feb. 16.