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Deadly week for COVID-19 ends quietly in the West Piedmont Health District

Deadly week for COVID-19 ends quietly in the West Piedmont Health District

From the Martinsville-region COVID-19/coronavirus daily update from state, nation and world: Aug. 23 series
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A very deadly week for COVID-19 in the West Piedmont Health District came to a rather quiet end on Saturday, the first day since Tuesday that no one died in the district.

One more resident of Henry County died of the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, the Virginia Department of Health reported on Friday morning.

That was the ninth death in the district in a 72-hour span and the 10th in the prior week.

That brought to 27 the total number of deaths in the district.

There were no details available about this latest death. VDH tracks cases and deaths by the person’s residence and not where the virus may have been contracted or the person treated. No private information, including how the person contracted the virus, is released.

Although there was no reported death on Saturday by VDH, the surge in cases and hospitalizations continued in the district.

There were 41 new positive tests for the novel coronavirus on Friday (15) and Saturday (26) and five more hospitalizations.

Henry County topped the list, with 24 of the cases and three of the hospitalizations in addition to the fatality.

Martinsville had 11 and one hospitalization, and Patrick County had three and one. Franklin County, which is also part of the district, had only one new case.

Outbreaks at senior-care facilities have been causing many cases lately, most recently with reports from Mulberry Creek Rehab in Martinsville and Stanleytown Health & Rehab in Fieldale. Blue Ridge in Stuart also has been hit hard with several deaths and dozens of cases among residents and employees.

Since the outset of the pandemic West Piedmont has recorded 1,410 cases and 174 hospitalizations along with the 27 deaths.

By comparison, on the morning of Aug. 1, those totals were 937 cases, 110 hospitalizations and 13 deaths, meaning those totals have risen by 51%, 59% and 108%, respectively, in about three weeks.

Since March Henry County has had 741 cases, with 80 hospitalizations and 14 deaths. Martinsville has had 276 cases, with 44 hospitalizations and three deaths. Patrick County has had 195 cases including 42 hospitalizations and nine deaths. Franklin County has had 198 cases, eight hospitalizations and one death.

VDH reported Saturday that there have 112,072 cases and 2,443 deaths statewide — up seven from Friday. Some 9,139 people have been hospitalized.

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