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COVID-19 Updates for County, Health District, State, Nation and Worldwide

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As of midday, Wednesday, December 30, 2020, County Emergency Management Deputy Director Rick Farrall released the latest COVID-19 novel Coronavirus pandemic statistics for Warren County, the Lord Fairfax Health District of which we are a part, as well as state and national numbers. Since our last published report of December 16 numbers, Warren County counted 183 new cases (to 1321 from 1138) and saw its deaths rise to 33 from the 31 counted two weeks ago. Heading into the last day of the month and year seven-county citizens had succumbed to COVID-19 in December.

Above, file photo of County Deputy Emergency Services Director Rick Farrall updating county officials on COVID-19 numbers and measures being enacted locally and statewide to counter those numbers. Below, County Board and Emergency Management Team Chairman Walt Mabe has urged a sense of care and community in helping our families and neighbors through this health crisis. Royal Examiner File Photos by Roger Bianchini

As previously noted, through the first nine-plus months of the year Warren County had counted 12 deaths attributed to the pandemic. Now through the last three months of the year the death count has climbed by 21 as the Phase 3 surge that has hit our Lord Fairfax Health District (LFHD) continued through the holiday season. In December, LFHD cases climbed to 9,877 confirmed from the 6,357 counted at the end of November, an increase of 3,520.

If there is a silver lining, other than the arrival of a vaccine for this initial COVID-19 strain, it is that the death rate to confirmed cases has remained under the initially estimated 3% range. According to the numbers below, the national death rate to confirmed cases is 1.74%; in Virginia that rate is 1.45%; and in Warren County, it is slightly higher at 2.50% of the 1,321 total confirmed cases countywide.


According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), as of January 4 at 11:45 a.m. there were 20,797,336 cases and 354,720 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the U.S. That compares to 85,229,481 cases and 1,845,408 deaths globally. So, as 2021 arrives the U.S. has accounted for about 24% of the world’s cases and 19% of its deaths with 4% of the global population. And if this reporter’s math can be trusted, those numbers reflect a 2.16% death rate globally and a 1.7% death rate nationally.

The nation hit New Year’s Day 2021 with just over 335,000 deaths attributed to the 2019 Coronavirus pandemic after crossing the 300,000 barrier in mid-December. From the above CDC numbers for midday January 4, just under 20,000 Americans have been reported dead from the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic in the first 3-1/2 days of 2021.

Below are the county, health district, state, and national numbers for the December 30 report, mid-month on December 18, and the final day of November for comparison.

Above, the CDC’s Jan. 2, 2021 chart shows that the numbers continue to accumulate as the year has turned, with Warren County counting another 89 cases and one death since midday Dec. 30. Below a file photo from the spring 2020 surge – numbers, we have indicated 1,006 Americans may have died on Dec. 31 during the current Phase 2 surge.

 

1. COVID-19 Information (December 30, 2020, at 11:54 a.m.):
a. Lord Fairfax Health District: As of today (per the VDH website), there are 9,877 confirmed COVID-19 cases (Clarke 385, Frederick 3,703, Page 1,015, Shenandoah 2,186, Warren 1,321 (69 are/were hospitalized, 33 deaths attributed to the County; deaths 2.50% total cases), Winchester 1,637); the current status of these patients is unknown (admitted to hospital, discharged to home isolation/quarantine, departed the District/County).
b. Commonwealth: 4,220,943 total people tested (PCR only); 344,345 total cases [12.7% positive rate (PCR only)]; 17,910 total hospitalized; 4,984 total deaths (1.45% total cases).
c. United States: As of December 29, 2020, at 2:25 PM, there are 19,232,843 total cases and 334,029 total deaths (1.74% total cases) attributed to COVID-19.

2. COVID-19 Information (as of December 18, 2020, at 10:22 AM):
a. Lord Fairfax Health District: As of today (per the VDH website), there are 8,731 confirmed COVID-19 cases (Clarke 307, Frederick 3,169, Page 831, Shenandoah 1,843, Warren 1,138 (66 are/were hospitalized, 31 deaths attributed to the County; deaths 2.72% total cases), Winchester 1,443); the current status of these patients is unknown (admitted to hospital, discharged to home isolation/quarantine, departed the District/County).
b. Commonwealth: 3,831,683 total people tested (PCR only); 299,388 total cases [11.8% positive rate (PCR only)]; 16,684 total hospitalized; 4,598 total deaths (1.54% total cases).
c. United States: As of December 17, 2020, at 3:03 PM, there are 16,756,581 total cases and 306,427 total deaths (1.83% total cases) attributed to COVID-19.
c. United States: As of December 17, 2020, at 3:03 PM, there are 16,756,581 total cases and 306,427 deaths (1.83% total cases) attributed to COVID-19.

3. COVID-19 update as of November 30, 2020:
e. Lord Fairfax Health District: As of today (per the VDH website), there are 6,357 confirmed COVID-19 cases (Clarke 208, Frederick 2,228, Page 593, Shenandoah 1,403, Warren 859 (61 are/were hospitalized, 26 deaths attributed to the County; deaths 3.03% total cases), Winchester 1,066); the current status of these patients is unknown (admitted to hospital, discharged to home isolation/quarantine, departed the District/County).
f. Commonwealth: 3,326,327 total people tested (PCR only); 237,835 total cases [7.5% positive rate (PCR only)]; 14,619 total hospitalized; 4,062 total deaths (1.71% total cases).
g. United States: As of November 29, 2020 at 1:32 PM, there are 13,142,997 total cases and 265,166 total deaths (2.02% total cases) attributed to COVID-19.

4. Current CDC Guidance Regarding When to Quarantine/Options to Reduce Quarantine
a. New CDC guidance as of December 2, 2020.
b. Recommend everyone familiarize themselves with the updated guidance. See attached and website link below for details.
c. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html

5. Current VDH Social Gatherings, and Holiday COVID-19 Related Guidance
a. https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/schools-workplaces-community-locations/social-gatherings/

 

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Front Royal Zombie Walk 2021

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The 2021 Front Royal Zombie Walk was a great success. We raised almost $500 (so far)  in donations for the Front Royal/Warren County Humane Society.

Hundred of Zombies walked the streets of Front Royal on Saturday night. Fun for all at the Boomuseum. Good to see the community gathering at the Gazebo area and just enjoy the time together. People of all ages participated, some just came to watch, from a safe distance, of course.

A BIG thank you to all who helped this year. A BIG BIG thank you to Shae Parker and his band, River Driven. The music calmed even Zombies.

And we don’t want to Forget the Front Royal Police Department – they assisted in getting the Zombies across the busy traffic and safely downtown.


The Zombie Walk 2021 T-Shirts are still available at C&C Frozen Treats on Main Street.

Check out the Zombie Walk Facebook page for more pictures.

Did you miss it? Watch the event now on this exclusive Royal Examiner video:


 

Some celebrated their wedding anniversary at the Zombie Walk.

 

Zombies come in all ages.

 

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Everyone age 12 and older can now get the COVID vaccine

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Here are the COVID-19 vaccine locations in Warren County.  Be sure to call and check on vaccine availability and appointment times.

Walmart Inc #10-5105
10 Riverton Commons Dr, Front Royal, VA 22630
540-635-4140

CVS Pharmacy, Inc. #17367
10 Crooked Run Plaza, Front Royal, VA 22630
(540) 631-3291

Warren County Health Department
465 W 15th St #200, Front Royal, VA 22630
(540) 635-3159


CVS Pharmacy, Inc. #07509
800 John Marshall Hwy, Front Royal, VA 22630
(540) 635-1601

Martins #6282
409 South St, Front Royal, VA 22630
540-635-3175

Check at https://www.vaccines.gov/ for other locations in our area.

Protect yourself and others. Remember the following when receiving your COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Wear a cloth face covering or mask in accordance with CDC guidance
  • Keep at least six feet of distance between yourself and other people not in your household at all times
  • Respect the privacy of others when taking photos

 

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Warrior Psychotherapy Services opens on Main Street

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Niki Foster Cales of the Front Royal/Warren County Chamber of Commerce, along with fellow Chamber members and Supervisor Walt Mabe welcomed Courtney Patti to the community with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Warrior Psychotherapy Services is located at 130 E. Main Street in Front Royal.

Courtney Patti is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with over 15 years of practice working with the chronic medical and behavioral health population.

Her experience includes working in facilities such as Children’s National Medical Center, Washington Hospital Center Outpatient Behavioral Health, University of Virginia Medical Center, Sheppard Pratt Health System, and Ft Belvoir Community Hospital working in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Minor in Religion from Sweet Briar College in 2005. Courtney received her Masters of Social Work (MSW) from Catholic University of America: National Catholic School of Social Services in Washington, D.C.  in 2007.

Her specialty focuses on adults whose lives are impacted by depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and unresolved emotional issues. She is considered an expert in her field in formulating diagnostic and treatment recommendations, providing individual, couple, and family therapy.


Click here to find out more about Warrior Psychotherapy on their website.

 

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Motion to bar press from hearing on Luckey indecent sexual liberties with a minor charges delays hearing to January 6

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On Thursday, October 21, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judge Daryl Funk ruled in favor of a defense motion to bar the press from the courtroom during the hearing of accused child sexual abuser Dr. William R. Luckey. The ruling, at the request of Luckey’s defense counsel Shannon Johnson, resulted in a continuation of the scheduled hearing at which the alleged juvenile victim was expected to testify.

Court records indicate the hearing was continued to January 6 of next year on the morning docket with an anticipated start time of 10:30 a.m. The delay will allow press organizations to file responses to the judge’s ruling on their exclusion, making their case to be allowed in the courtroom for future hearings or trials where testimony by and about the alleged victim would be heard.

According to reports Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Samantha Meadows was poised to call at least three witnesses Thursday, including the alleged victim and case investigator Kristin Hajduk of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. However, the youth’s testimony would have been by remote video hook-up, avoiding the necessity of an underage witness having to be in the same room with their accused abusers as they testify.

As of a J&D Court ruling on Thursday, October 21, media was excluded from hearings where testimony by or about the alleged victim in the William R. Luckey sexual solicitation and indecent liberties against a minor case would be heard. Below, Luckey upon his June 25, 2021, booking into RSW Jail. Mug shot – RSW Jail website; Courthouse photo – Royal Examiner File Photo


 

On June 25, 2021, the 72-year-old, retired (in 2015) Christendom College professor of 33 years and more recent teacher at the Padre Pio Academy at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Front Royal was charged with one count of “Solicitation of prostitution from a minor less than age 16” and two charges of “Indecent liberties … of a child less than 15”. Court documents list all three offense dates as June 22, 2021, three days prior to Luckey’s arrest. Original presiding Judge Nancy Reed initially denied bond in the case on June 30. However, upon defense appeal citing health issues and his long-term ties to the community, Luckey was released on a $50,000 secured bond on July 12.

Copies of warrants on those charges offered additional detail. Of the two indecent liberties charges, Luckey is accused of “with lascivious intent knowingly and intentionally sexually abuse a (age withheld by paper) female …” and “that the accused feel or fondle the sexual or genital parts of such child”.

Of the solicitation charge, the warrant alleges that Luckey offered “money or its equivalent to a minor under 16 years of age … with the intent to sexually arouse or gratify and thereafter perform a substantial act in furtherance thereof.” Commonwealth evidence indicated that money was ten dollars offered to the alleged victim to see and touch their “bottom”. The warrants indicate the money was refused by the child, but that Luckey followed through with the suggested behavior, leaving the ten dollars behind when he left the scene.

During initial hearings last summer the Commonwealth introduced recorded phone conversations between Dr. Luckey and his wife discussing her husband’s legal situation in the days following his arrest. Investigator Hajduk told the court that the couple knew they were being recorded on the phone line to the jail before introducing recorded segments of those conversations to the court and summarizing other sections. While the prosecution’s take on those segments was that they indicated an admission of some of the alleged behavior, the defense disputed that contention.
Rather, defense attorney Johnson argued certain conversational lines simply indicated Dr. Luckey’s reaction to the charges against him or social dynamics involved with those accusations. In fact, she told the court some of Dr. Luckey’s comments to his wife indicated a belief the charges “were invalid” and that his accuser could face the consequences of filing a false police report.

“This isn’t what happened,” Julie Luckey told her husband of specific sexual acts described in one of the warrants, later adding, “It’s not like you raped somebody.”

“No, it doesn’t say ‘Show me your hiney,’ Dr. Luckey seemed to laugh in response to his wife’s dispute over the content of the warrants. At another point in recorded conversations in the days after his arrest, Dr. Luckey told his wife his situation was a result “of 15 minutes of stupidity on my part.”

Whether that “15 minutes of stupidity” will be viewed as a criminal solicitation and abuse of a minor remains to be seen; as does whether future preliminary hearings or a potential trial will be viewed and reported by the media.

 

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I-81 southbound slow roll scheduled in Frederick County on October 26th

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A slow-roll is scheduled on Interstate 81 in Frederick County on Tuesday, October 26 at 11 a.m. This operation, managed by the Virginia State Police, will take place in southbound lanes between exit 307 at Route 277 in the Stephens City area and exit 302 at Route 627 in the Middletown area. All slow-roll activity will conclude by noon.

The slow roll is needed for blasting operations near I-81 that will take place on a developer’s construction site in the Middletown area.

All work is weather permitting.

Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at http://www.511Virginia.org.


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WCHS conducts National Honors Society induction ceremony

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On October 14, 2021, Warren County High School’s National Honors Society chapter held an induction ceremony. The chapter inducted twenty-six (26) new members. National Honors Society is a national organization dedicated to scholarship, character, service, and leadership. These new inductees will be a part of an organization of incredibly impressive alumni.

WCHS National Honor Society Officers (L-R): Cayla Kleinschmidt, Historian; Francis Treutlein, Vice-President; John Shultzaberger, President; and Kiersten Stives, Secretary.

All new members received a certificate and their membership cards. Mrs. Jyoti Vasishta, NHS advisor, stated in her introduction speech: “Our chapter is proud to have been inducting new members since 1963 and today’s ceremony indicates the continuing emphasis on excellence that we represent for our school and community”.

Last year’s new members were unable to receive an official induction ceremony due to the pandemic. A part of the ceremony was dedicated to recognize and honor these members. These members also received the certificate and the membership pin.


Mr. Kenneth Knesh, Warren County High School’s principal, delivered an inspirational speech to students and parents in the closing.

“Tonight you join judges, lawyers, teachers, military officers, Ivy League graduates and yes, even a current rocket scientist at NASA as members of our NHS fraternity. Now your name will be among those distinguished alumni who proudly call Warren County High School their alma mater. They went on to do great things and we believe that you are destined to join them in helping to shape the world we live in and become future leaders of this great country of ours. Be bold, be brave and be the light of someone’s world.”

New members include: Alyssa Albritton, Genevieve Blodgett, Anthony Carter, Zane Michael Clark, Nicholas Foltz, Amanda Genari, Lacie Glascock, Ginger Gouda, Ian Hoelscher, Arthur Kresge, Audrey Moya Machuca, Gabriella Mangene, John Martin, Emily Mawson, Haley Oyler, Cayden Patton, Mason Polk, Landon Pond, Nicole Ranney, Julianne Rappole, Mia Santillan, Sara Waller, Sebastian Ward, Leah Webster, Olivia Yates, and Brian Zook.

Former members include: Paige Arndt, Madeline Bryant, Aidan Grupac, Cayla Kleinschmidt (Historian), Griffin Martin, Maya McKean, Joanna Mendez-Dorado, Savannah Mitchell, Mavryck Lance Mora, Emma Mullins, Sydney Nalls (Treasurer), Margaret Plosch, Taye Russell, Nathalie Schelin, Jordan Searcey, John Schultzaberger (President), Kiersten Stives (Secretary), and Francis Treutlein (Vice President).


By Emily Mawson, NHS Inductee

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Upcoming Events

Oct
28
Thu
10:00 am Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 28 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Senior Painting Class with Dottie @ Strokes of Creativity
Senior Painting Class with Dottie at Strokes of Creativity. Tickets: CLICK HERE Cost: $80 for 6 weeks Dates: Thursdays – Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18, Dec 4 Time: 10 am[...]
1:00 pm Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
Oct 28 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Art Class for 4th & 5th @ Strokes of Creativity
This class is for Grades 4th and 5th. Perfect for home schoolers. Recommended ages: 9 and 10 years old Tickets: CLICK HERE Tickets are available through Square Up, or can be paid in person at[...]
7:00 pm Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Oct 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
White Horse Auto Wash is excited for the first Haunted Tunnel at their new Front Royal location this year! Located next to Lowe’s at 214 Country Club Road, Front Royal, VA. The event will be[...]
Oct
29
Fri
9:00 am Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 29 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Edmonds Lane Field: Join The Piedmont Environmental Council, Friends of the Rappahannock, Goose Creek Association, John Marshall Soil & Water Conservation District and We Plant Trees, for volunteer tree planting at Sky Meadows State Park![...]
6:00 pm Trunk or Treat @ Family Dollar Parking Lot
Trunk or Treat @ Family Dollar Parking Lot
Oct 29 @ 6:00 pm – Oct 30 @ 9:00 pm
Trunk or Treat @ Family Dollar Parking Lot
Non-profit organization Crown Vic Kiings & Queens, of Winchester, Virginia, is hosting our annual car club TRUNK OR TREAT, in Front Royal, on October 29th. The event is free but donations are greatly appreciated, as[...]
7:00 pm Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Oct 29 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
White Horse Auto Wash is excited for the first Haunted Tunnel at their new Front Royal location this year! Located next to Lowe’s at 214 Country Club Road, Front Royal, VA. The event will be[...]
Oct
30
Sat
9:00 am Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 30 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Volunteer Tree Planting @ Sky Meadows State Park
Edmonds Lane Field: Join The Piedmont Environmental Council, Friends of the Rappahannock, Goose Creek Association, John Marshall Soil & Water Conservation District and We Plant Trees, for volunteer tree planting at Sky Meadows State Park![...]
1:00 pm Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Oct 30 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Fall Craft Festival @ Fort Valley Museum
Fort Valley Museum Fall Craft Festival – Annual Fundraiser October 30 & 31, 2021 | Saturday 1-4pm, Sunday 2-5pm Come by and support the Fort Valley Museum at our annual Fall Craft Festival (formerly “Christmas[...]
1:00 pm Feed the Homeless Trunk or Treat @ T-Bone's Bar & Grill
Feed the Homeless Trunk or Treat @ T-Bone's Bar & Grill
Oct 30 @ 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Feed the Homeless Trunk or Treat @ T-Bone's Bar & Grill
Non-profit organization Crown Vic Kiings & Queens, of Winchester, Virginia, is hosting our annual car club FEED THE HOMELESS/TRUNK OR TREAT on October 30th. The event is free but donations are greatly appreciated, as Crown[...]
7:00 pm Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
Oct 30 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Haunted Tunnel Auto Wash @ White Horse Auto Wash
White Horse Auto Wash is excited for the first Haunted Tunnel at their new Front Royal location this year! Located next to Lowe’s at 214 Country Club Road, Front Royal, VA. The event will be[...]