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Covid numbers in region continue rapid decline

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As the pandemic reaches its third year, the official global death toll from COVID-19 surpassed six million, according to Johns Hopkins University, while local numbers continue to make a rapid decline.

There were two new deaths reported by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) in the Piedmont District over the weekend, an area that includes Martinsville and the counties of Henry, Patrick and Franklin.

In Virginia, the VDH says the number of deaths now exceed 19,000, while Johns Hopkins University says in the United States the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 will exceed one million.

Just last week Superintendent Sandy Strayer told the Henry County School Board that masking was now optional for employees in the school buildings and on the school buses. In fact, she hopes that students will soon be back in the cafeterias eating lunch just like they did before before the pandemic, she said.

On Monday the VDH Covid Dashboard showed two new deaths in the district due to COVID-19 since Friday, one in Henry County and one in Patrick County.

Henry County continues to lead the district in deaths with 243, followed by Franklin County with 183, Martinsville at 112 and Patrick County with 88.

Henry County has had 519 hospitalizations since the pandemic began, followed by Franklin County with 343, Martinsville at 193 and Patrick County with 144.

The dashboard indicated since Friday, Henry County had 22 new cases, Franklin County had 20, Martinsville had six and Patrick County had four.

In total, Henry County has had 11,271 cases followed by Franklin County with 10,654, Patrick County 3,542, and Martinsville with 3,178 total.

The 7-day average number of new daily cases reported per 100,000 population statewide has dropped from 15 to 13. Patrick County is down from 22 to 14, Franklin County is up from nine to 11, Henry County is down from 13 to 10 and Martinsville is at eight, up from two.

In the state, 72% of the population is fully vaccinated, Martinsville is at 58%, Henry County is at 50%, Franklin County 49%, and Patrick County 42%.

The state average of COVID tests returning a positive is now down to 6%, Franklin County is at 18%, Patrick County is at 12%, Henry County is 10% and Martinsville is 0%.

Of the 7,141 outbreaks statewide, 74 have occurred in the West Piedmont Health District.

The district has had 28,645 total cases, 1,199 hospitalizations and 626 deaths due to Covid since the pandemic began.

Statewide, 105 people died of COVID-19 since Friday and there have been 1,648,179 cases, 47,594 hospitalizations and 19,060 deaths.

In the U.S. there have been 79 million COVID-19 cases and 958,621 deaths. Worldwide there have been 446 million cases and 6 million deaths as reported by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Bill Wyatt is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. He can be reached at 276-638-8801, Ext. 2360. Follow him @billdwyatt.

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