Virginia sets new record at 3,242 cases

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Page Valley News will have continuing coverage of the Coronavirus' impact on Page County.
Page Valley News will have continuing coverage of the Coronavirus' impact on Page County.

By Randy Arrington

LURAY, Nov. 23 — The Virginia Department of Health set a new record in the commonwealth on Monday, reporting 3,242 cases of COVID-19 in a single day.

The previous record of 2,677 was set last Wednesday; and the third-highest day came on Friday, with 2,544 new cases of the coronavirus reported. While the state had only broken the 2,000-case barrier once prior to November — Aug. 7 with 2,015 — Virginia has seen seven of the last eight days exceed that mark.

Monday’s spike is COVID-19 cases does come with a caveat:

“The 3,242 case count reported on Monday, November 23 is in part due to a catch-up from the VDH data system being down for upgrades for a few hours over the weekend. A reminder: the number of new daily cases is based on the date VDH reported them. In order to observe the spread of illness most effectively, please review the charts that show cases by date of symptom onset,” read a statement on the VDH website Monday morning.

The state health department’s website was down from 2 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21. Similar notices have accompanied a few spikes in new cases reported throughout the pandemic.

Currently, Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate has climbed to 7.2 percent.

In addition to the nation and the state, the Lord Fairfax Health District has also seen a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, with 114 reported on Monday. Prior to last week, the district had not exceeded 100 cases in a single day since the pandemic began. However, four of the last seven days have generated more than 100 new cases within the health district, including a record-high of 174 on Nov. 18.

After a peak in the middle of last week, cases in the district had begun to slow over the past few days. However, Frederick County, which has led the district in new cases for weeks, reported 48 new cases on Monday. The county saw a record-high of 88 cases reported last Wednesday. In just one week, Frederick County has reported 333 new cases of COVID-19. The county also reported a new hospitalization on Saturday, but has not seen a new death related to the virus in five days.

The county seat of Winchester added 27 new cases on Monday, after seeing another 16 over the weekend. Winchester also reported a new hospitalization on Monday.

Shenandoah County reported 20 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, after also seeing 16 cases over the weekend. The county has not seen a hospitalization of death related to the pandemic in five days.

Warren County reported 13 new cases on Monday, with another seven surfacing over the weekend. On Saturday, Warren reported two new hospitalizations and one death — the county’s 25th related to COVID-19.

Page County has seen 10 new cases since Friday, with five reported on Monday. That comes after 22 cases were reported Wednesday through Friday of last week — a total of 32 new cases in the last six days. Page County has not reported a new hospitalization since Friday and has not seen a pandemic-related death since Oct. 28.

According to ZIP code data provided on the VDH website, 17 of those recent cases in Page County have surfaced in the Luray area (22835), while another 13 cases were reported in the Shenandoah area (22849). One case was reported in the Stanley area (22851), and the Rileyville area (22650) saw its first new case in a month reported on Friday.

Page County’s 14-day positivity rate has climbed to 6.1 percent, according to School Metrics data on the VDH website.

Clarke County has seen the lowest spread of the virus in the region, with only one new case reported Monday and four others over the weekend. Clarke, however, did report its third COVID-19 death on Friday.

A cumulative breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 5,534 reported cases, 413 hospitalizations and 142 deaths is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):

  • 1,832 — Frederick County (113-17)
  • 1,304 — Shenandoah County (112-62)
  • 890 — City of Winchester (52-4)
  • 766 — Warren County (57-25)
  • 559 — Page County (60-31)
  • 183 — Clarke County (19-3) 

Harrisonburg has reported 55 more cases of COVID-19 since Friday, while Rockingham County added another 84 cases. Rockingham reported its 32nd pandemic death on Saturday. Harrisonburg also reported first hospitalization due to the virus in 14 days on Saturday.

The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported on Monday that 1,512 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure hit 1,569 last Thursday — the highest number of hospitalizations since the pandemic began. The state has not seen total hospitalizations surpass 1,500 since April and May, but Virginia has now exceeded that level for four of the last five days.

Among those hospitalized statewide, 351 are currently in intensive care being treated for COVID-19, according to VHHA — the highest level since May 31, and up 31 from just yesterday. Currently, there are 152 COVID-19 patients statewide on ventilators — the most since Aug. 17.

Since the pandemic hit Virginia, VHHA reports that 23,253 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.

The state health department reported four new deaths related to the pandemic on Monday, and another 26 over the weekend. A total of 3,942 people in Virginia have died from COVID-19 since March 14.

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