By Randy Arrington
LURAY, May 25 — While a slight increase in COVID-19 cases was seen locally last week, vaccinations rose significantly as the overall case count and positivity rate remain low in Page County.
The Virginia Department of Health has reported 18 new cases of coronavirus in Page County over the past eight days (compared to nine the previous week), along with two hospitalizations reported on Thursday and Friday. No deaths related to the pandemic have been reported in the county since March 17.
Page County’s seven-day positivity rate currently stands at 3.4 percent after reaching 3.8 percent on Monday. Eight days ago, the rate stood at a low of 2.7 percent. A majority of the recent COVID-19 cases in the county (14 of 18) have surfaced in the Luray area (22835), according to ZIP code data provided by VDH.
Page County Public Schools only reported two cases of COVID-19 within local schools in May, compared to seven notifications sent out about COVID cases in April. Both recent cases were reported on May 19, with one student diagnosed with the virus at Luray Middle School and one student at Luray High School. The middle school student was last on school property May 17 before being diagnosed with COVID-19 on May 18, and did come in contact with other people at the school. The high school student was at LHS on May 14 before being diagnosed May 18, and also had contact with others.
A total of 544 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered in Page County over the past eight days (up from 362 the previous week), with the number of residents receiving at least one dose growing by 339 (up from 172) and the number of fully vaccinated residents increasing 240 (up from 208). As of Tuesday’s report by VDH, a cumulative total of 14,761 vaccinations have been given locally, with 8,322 people receiving at least one dose (34.8 percent of the population) and 7,005 have been fully vaccinated (29.3 percent).
Here’s a breakdown of percentages of the population that have received vaccinations within the six jurisdictions of the Lord Fairfax Health District:
• 49% — with at least one dose, Clarke County (41.2% fully vaccinated);
• 47.2% — with one dose, Winchester (34.7% fully);
• 41.8% — with one dose, Shenandoah County (34.1% fully);
• 41.7% — with one dose, Frederick County (32.8% fully);
• 38.1% — with one dose, Warren County (28.6% fully);
• 34.8% — with one dose, Page County (29.3% fully).
Over the last eight days, the Lord Fairfax Health District has reported 161 new cases of COVID-19, with 55 of those in Frederick County and another 40 in Shenandoah County. Warren County has reported 31 cases since last Monday, with 18 in Page and 17 in Winchester. During that time, the district reported 14 hospitalizations related to the virus and four deaths. Every jurisdiction within the health district reported one COVID-19 death over the past week, except Page and Shenandoah counties.
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate has dropped to 2.8 percent, compared to 3.2 percent a week ago. The commonwealth’s daily case count was only 76 on Monday, but jumped up to 654 on Tuesday. However, the daily count has remained below 1,000 in Virginia for the entire month of May, after sitting above that threshold consistently since October. Statewide hospitalizations related to COVID-19 are at 520 as of Tuesday — the lowest level since April 2020.
However, the state still reported 108 deaths related to the virus over the past eight days — and a total of 11,137 since March 14, 2020.
Across the state, more than 7.9 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with more than 4.6 million receiving at least one dose (53.4 percent of the statewide population) and more than 3.6 million fully vaccinated (42.7 percent). Currently, Virginia is averaging 50,111 doses of the vaccine being administered each day — an increase from last Monday’s 41,954.
Earlier this month, Governor Ralph Northam announced that masks mandates were being lifted immediately to align with recent CDC guideline changes, and that public health restrictions such as capacity limitations are being lifted on Friday, May 28 — two weeks prior to the recently announced date of June 15. The governor’s announcement comes as VDH reports that more than 65 percent of adults in Virginia have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccines are available by pre-registration and appointment. To pre-register, or to update your pre-registration record, visit www.vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (1-877-829-4682). English- and Spanish-speaking operators are available. Translation services also are available, in more than 100 languages. For TTY, dial 7-1-1.