There were eight new deaths of COVID-19 reported Saturday by the Virginia Department of Health, and two of them are our neighbors.
Two more residents of Henry County and Patrick County have now died from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
The VDH does not disclose information about deaths but tracks data based on a person’s residence.
Patrick County, with 25 dead, and Henry County, with 21, have the highest death tolls in the West Piedmont Health District. In fact, Patrick County moved into a new statistical highlighted range on the VDH’s daily map.
If you have been keeping track, that’s now 65 deaths in the district since the beginning of the pandemic in March, and it’s the 31st death in the district since Aug. 31, 14 of those in Patrick County.
There also were 23 more cases reported Friday and Saturday, bringing the total to 2,040 in the district, the vast majority of them being white, female and between the ages of 40 and 60.
Most of the deaths, though, are ages 70 and older (53 of them), and the past five deaths have all been women, creating a plurality of 35. About 67% of those who have died are white.
Across the state, about half the deaths have been citizens older than 80, about half of them white and slightly more of them male.
Both Patrick County and Henry County have been hit by significant and deadly outbreaks in senior-care facilities, which across Virginia has accounted for most of the deaths.
Henry County has had 2052.9 cases per 100,000 population, VDH calculates, and Martinsville even higher at 2960.8. Patrick County’s rate is 1567.0.
Henry County, which this week decided to return students to classrooms, has averaged 14.0 new cases per day since the pandemic began and 7.7 in September but 10 per day since Aug. 1. Martinsville, which in a few weeks will consider its options, has averaged 7.8 overall and about 2.0 this month and 3.9 since Aug. 1.
Both Martinsville (124) and Patrick County (141) have much higher per capita death rates than Henry County (41).
In the past 48 hours, Henry County has had 11 new cases and two hospitalizations. Martinsville and Patrick County each added three cases and a hospitalization, and Franklin County had six new cases.
The cumulative totals since the pandemic began:
- Henry County: 1,045 cases, 114 hospitalizations, 21 deaths.
- Martinsville: 382, 61, 16.
- Patrick County: 277, 52, 25.
- Franklin County: 333, 16, 3.
VDH reports statewide through Saturday that there have been 145,408 cases, with 3,144 deaths, and 10,863 have been hospitalized.
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