By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Dec. 6 — The Virginia Department of Health reported a record-high 3,793 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, with the caveat that the surge was driven by a “partial data backlog,” according to the Dec. 5 posting. However, VDH then reported a new record-high on Sunday with no such disclaimer — 3,880 new cases in a single day.
Virginia surpassed the 3,000-mark for daily coronavirus cases for the first time in the pandemic on Nov. 23, when 3,242 cases were reported. In the 13 days since then, it has occurred three more times —3,173 new cases on Nov. 28, and the highest two counts thus far coming over the last two days.
Virginia’s seven-day positivity rate has climbed to 10.6 percent, as of Sunday, after falling as low as 4.5 percent in mid-October.
The state health department reported 15 new cases of COVID-19 in Page County on Sunday — the second-highest daily total since the first case was reported in the county on March 31. The highest one-day total in the county came on April 25 when 52 cases were reported during an outbreak at a longterm care facility in Luray.
Page’s 14-day positivity rate has risen to 11.9 percent, according to School Metrics data provided on the VDH website. On Nov. 16, that same rate for Page County stood at only 3.4 percent.
Page County also reported 11 cases of the virus on Saturday and has seen 31 new cases surface in the past three days. According to ZIP code data provided by VDH, the following cases have been reported in Page County during the first six days of December:
- 19 — Shenandoah area (22849)
- 14 — Luray area (22835)
- 7 — Stanley area (22851)
- 5 — Rileyville area (22650)
Page has not reported a new hospitalization since Nov. 25, but the county has seen two new deaths in the past 12 days.
The Lord Fairfax Health District reported 122 new cases on Sunday, after seeing 131 new cases on Saturday. Friday’s report only showed 55 new cases across the district. Among Sunday’s cases, 72 were reported in Frederick County, with another 13 in Winchester.
The health district has reported six hospitalizations over the past three days, with three in Frederick County, two more in the county seat of Winchester and one in Warren County.
The City of Winchester was the only locality in the health district to have a COVID-19 fatality in the past three days, reporting its fifth pandemic death on Sunday.
A cumulative breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 6,944 reported cases, 461 hospitalizations and 151 deaths is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 2,466 — Frederick County (128-19)
- 1,514 — Shenandoah County (123-63)
- 1,160 — City of Winchester (66-5)
- 947 — Warren County (63-27)
- 636 — Page County (62-33)
- 221 — Clarke County (19-4)
Both Harrisonburg and Rockingham County are seeing a resurgence in new cases as well. On Sunday, Harrisonburg reported 48 new cases of COVID-19, while Rockingham had 87. Over the last three days, Harrisonburg has seen 115 cases surface, while Rockingham reported 199.
However, the two localities have only reported four hospitalizations and no deaths since Friday.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported on Sunday that 1,969 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure marks the highest number of hospitalizations in Virginia since the pandemic began, and a 24.2-percent increase over the last eight days. The state had not seen total hospitalizations surpass 1,500 since April and May, but Virginia has now exceeded that level consistently since Thanksgiving.
Among those hospitalized statewide, 395 are currently in intensive care being treated for COVID-19, according to VHHA — a decrease of 12 from yesterday and third-straight day of decline. Currently, there are 187 COVID-19 patients statewide on ventilators — the most since Aug. 18.
Since the pandemic hit Virginia, VHHA reports that 25,235 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.
The state health department only reported three new deaths related to the pandemic on Sunday, but 37 were reported on Saturday — one of the highest daily totals in the state over the past eight months. Virginia surpassed the 4,000-death mark the day before Thanksgiving and currently reports a total of 4,200 people have died from COVID-19 since March 14.