By Randy Arrington
LURAY, July 3 — After reporting declining numbers over the last three weeks, the Lord Fairfax Health District has seen an uptick in new COVID-19 cases in the last three days.
The Virginia Department of Health has reported 86 new cases of the coronavirus across the district since Wednesday. More than half of those new cases are concentrated in Frederick County (24) and Shenandoah County (22), with another 13 new cases in Frederick’s county seat of Winchester. Page County reported 12 new cases in the last three days, while Warren County had 10 and Clarke County saw five.
The latter half of this week also saw eight people in the district hospitalized due to the virus, with five in Frederick County, two in Shenandoah County and one each in Winchester and Clarke. Warren County actually had one hospitalization taken off their total, most likely due to a reclassification of an earlier diagnosis. Page County has not had anyone hospitalized due to the coronavirus in the past four days.
Three more COVID-19 fatalities were reported within the health district since Wednesday, with two in Warren County and one in Shenandoah County. Warren saw one new pandemic-related death reported on both Thursday and Friday.
Page County had one COVID-19 fatality removed from its total of 24 on Thursday. Again, while VDH does not offer explanations for these adjustments to the data, it is most likely due to a reclassification of the cause of death in one of the previous coronavirus cases.
A breakdown by jurisdiction of the health district’s 2,060 cases of COVID-19 is as follows (hospitalizations – deaths):
- 584 — Shenandoah County (65-30)
- 517 — Frederick County (42-6)
- 330 — City of Winchester (24-3)
- 294 — Warren County (18-7)
- 281 — Page County (29-23)
- 54 — Clarke County (5-0)
Page County, much like the five-county health district, has seen an increase in new cases this week. While ZIP code data was not updated on Friday by VDH, through July 2 that data shows five new cases in both Luray and Shenandoah, and one new case near Stanley.
A current breakdown of COVID-19 cases and testing in Page County (as of July 2) by ZIP code is as follows:
- 22835 (Luray) — 159 cases, 665 tests, 23.9% positivity rate;
- 22851 (Stanley) — 73 cases, 268 tests, 27.2% positivity rate;
- 22849 (Shenandoah) — 42 cases, 304 tests, 13.8% positivity rate.
The 22650 ZIP code (Rileyville) data on new cases remains suppressed by VDH because of the low number of cases and the small population in that area. The state suppresses data in these areas in order to protect patients’ privacy. The last data available (July 2) shows that 19 people in the 22650 area have been tested for COVID-19.
The Town of Shenandoah is the only locality in the county to show an increase in its positivity rate this week. However, it should be mentioned that the number of people being testing is still too low to offer a completely accurate account of COVID-19’s penetration in those communities (ZIP codes) within the county.
Harrisonburg and Rockingham County also saw an increase in new cases of COVID-19 this week. Harrisonburg reported 20 new cases in the last two days, while Rockingham had 19. The two jurisdictions reported seven new hospitalizations during that time, with six of those in Rockingham. Harrisonburg reported three new deaths related to the pandemic in the last two days.
Statewide, 658 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Friday by VDH. That represents the highest one-day increase in six days.
The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported Friday that 818 people are currently hospitalized that have either been confirmed to have COVID-19 or are awaiting test results. That figure is down 70 from yesterday, after increasing by 106 on Tuesday. The number hospitalized is now back at that same level it was last Sunday.
Among those hospitalized, 207 are in intensive care, according to VHHA — down 18 since Monday. Currently, there are 95 patients statewide on ventilators — that figure has remained the same for three days.
Since the pandemic began, VHHA also reports that 8,711 people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 and were hospitalized, have been discharged.
Virginia’s COVID-19 deaths continue to rise, with 59 new fatalities reported in the last two days. That brings the state’s pandemic death toll up to 1,845 since the first fatality was reported on March 14.