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6th Henry County resident dies of COVID-19

6th Henry County resident dies of COVID-19

From the Martinsville-region COVID-19/coronavirus daily update from state, nation and world: Aug. 2 series
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STAFF REPORT

A sixth resident of Henry County has died of COVID-19 as cases in the county have surged past 500.

Those facts emerged in Saturday’s report from the Virginia Department of Health, which showed 25 new cases in Henry County for 502 since March.

On June 30, the county had 260 positive tests for the novel coronavirus.

There was no immediate confirmation about the death from the West Piedmont Health District. Nancy Bell, district spokesperson, did not respond to an email Saturday morning.

The district seldom discloses details about deaths and recently has stopped providing demographics about cases, citing workload.

VDH records deaths by the individual’s residence and not the location of the death.

Henry County also reported 10 new cases on Friday, and there have been two new hospitalizations of county residents.

Patrick County, which is dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Blue Ridge Therapy Connection, reported four new hospitalizations on Saturday.

Also in the district, Martinsville had nine new cases on Saturday, and Patrick County had two on Friday.

Henry County has had 502 cases, with 56 hospitalizations and six deaths. The case rate is almost 1% of the population, with 985.2 per 100,000 residents. The death rate is 11.8 per 100K.

Martinsville, which has had 168 cases, with 24 hospitalizations and three deaths, has had 1,302 cases and 23.3 deaths per 100,000 residents.

Patrick County has had 111 cases, with 22 hospitalizations and three deaths. Franklin County has had 156 cases, eight hospitalizations and one death.

Because of those increased rates of transmission and the rising numbers of cases of COVID-19 in Henry County and Martinsville, Sovah Health-Martinsville announced an immediate change to its visitor policy.

The hospital said in a release that it would be enforcing what it called “a modified limited visitor policy,” which designates how many persons may visit hospitalized patients.

“As always, the safety of our patients, providers and team members continues to be our top priority as we continue to navigate this pandemic, and we will not waver in this commitment,” CEO Dale Alward said in the release. “We continue to take all of the necessary precautions in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our facilities, and we want to reassure our communities that it is safe to come to our hospitals and clinics should you or your family need care.”

Some exceptions to the limited-visitor protocol include:

  • Outpatient surgery patients will be allowed one well visitor.
  • Outpatient ancillary patients will be allowed one well visitor.
  • Pediatric patients will be allowed one well parent or guardian only.
  • Obstetric patients will be allowed to have one well support person with them for their entire hospital visit.
  • End-of-life care limited exceptions will be made for end of life and medical necessity as determined by the care team.

The hospital encouraged visitors to contact patients through virtual platforms and phone calls.

The release reaffirmed that Sovah Health keeps COVID-19 patients in isolation, enforces a universal masking policy, screens everyone who enters, provides personnel with personal protective equipment and cleans and disinfects aggressively.

“We understand these new restrictions may be difficult for many in our community and we apologize for any inconvenience they may cause, but we feel these protective measures are necessary for the health and safety of our patients and team,” Alward said.

Patrick County Schools Superintendent Dean Gilbert didn't identify the individuals.

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