COVID-19 cases slow in the West Piedmont Health District

COVID-19 cases slow in the West Piedmont Health District

From the Martinsville-region COVID-19/coronavirus daily update from state, nation and world: July 1 series
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Staff report

The surge in cases of COVID-19 in the West Piedmont Health District slowed Tuesday on the eve of Phase 3 of reopening in Virginia.

After the district reported 73 new cases Thursday through Monday, there were a more normal eight identified Tuesday afternoon by Nancy Bell, spokesperson for the district.

And Tuesday also was the first day of free testing in Franklin County.

Younger people continue to be a significant element of the recent reports.

In Henry County there were two males and two females ranging from 15-19 to their 20s and 30s.

In Franklin County a female and two males were in the 15-19 bracket, their 30s and their 60s. A case in Patrick County is a female in her 80s.

Bell didn’t announce it in her email, but the Virginia Department of Health’s report on Tuesday morning cited two new hospitalizations: one in Henry County and one in Martinsville.

Bell on Monday had cited social gatherings as the reason behind the weekend spike – she reported 35 cases on Monday alone — and said officials were concerned about those cases spreading through the community.

Bell said that “the majority of recent cases throughout the WPHD are travel-acquired, although I do not currently have exact numbers per locality. Unfortunately, the consequences of spreading the virus to family and friends back home could be devastating.”

Franklin County accounted for 18 of Monday’s 35 cases, and Bell said that 220 people were tested Tuesday at the Pigg River Recreation Center in Rocky Mount.

“It was the first open and free testing event in the county,” she said in an email. “Unfortunately, we had to turn some people away when we ran out of test kits.”

VDH on Tuesday reported there are 62,787 cases statewide (up about 600 from Monday), and deaths are at 1,763 deaths. Some 6,203 people have been hospitalized (an increase of 39).

Henry County’s number of positive cases increased to 260, with 23 hospitalized and four deaths. Martinsville has 78 cases, 10 hospitalized and one death. Patrick County has 46 cases, and two have been hospitalized and two have died. Franklin County’s total is at 88, with five hospitalized and one death.

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