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Martinsville-region COVID-19/coronavirus daily update from state, nation and world: Feb. 22
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Martinsville-region COVID-19/coronavirus daily update from state, nation and world: Feb. 22

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Today or tomorrow, there will be 500,000 who have died from COVID-19 in the United States, by far more than any other country. Virginia will have contributed about 7,500, and the West Piedmont Health District now has added 212. The number of deaths is roughly equal to 10 deaths for every resident of Henry County...Those numbers grew this morning, when the Virginia Department of Health reported a couple of remarkable statistics in the West Piedmont Health District: There were almost as many deaths (5) as there were new cases (7). And the state added 155 deaths overall....These most recent deaths, recorded as of 5 p.m. Sunday, could've happened anytime. VDH typically waits to confirm cause on death certificates. We never know much about the individuals, but VDH tracks all data by a persons' residence. Three of these were residents of Henry County, and there was 1 each from Martinsville and Franklin County. That's now 11 deaths reported in the past 3 days in the health district and 37 in February (January was the deadliest month, with 42). The 7 new cases is the lowest single-day total in the district since there were 6 reported on Sept. 28. The 7-day rolling average has dropped to 24 (its highest point was 111.6 on Jan. 10). The 7-day average for new cases per 100,000 population is 17.4, and the 14-day average per 100K is 352.2. Henry County had 3 of the new cases, Franklin County had 2, and Martinsville and Patrick County had 1 each. Since the first case of the pandemic was recorded in the district on March 20, there have been 10,431, with 613 hospitalizations and the 212 deaths...Even as the number of new cases of COVID-19 in the West Piedmont Health District continues to plummet, the death count still rises....President Joe Biden will mark the U.S. crossing 500,000 lives lost from COVID-19 with a moment of silence and candle lighting ceremony at the White House....But officials say we may be at the beginning of the end. Cases and hospitalization rates are dropping in some states, and the Biden administration says 2 million more vaccine doses have been delivered following weather delays. Still, the next few months will bring tens of thousands more deaths, experts say, and Dr. Anthony Fauci says basic precautions like masks could be our reality all the way into 2022. Australia started its mass vaccination program today, and across Europe, leaders are working on plans to ease lockdown restrictions soon....President Biden is targeting federal pandemic assistance to the nation's smallest businesses and taking steps to further equity in what is known as the Paycheck Protection Program....Hospitals across the South grappled with water shortages Sunday in the wake of a devastating winter storm as the region carried on with recovery efforts and the weather offered a balmy respite — temperatures as high as the mid-60s....The Virginia Department of Health reports this morning there have been 565,270 cases and 7,486 deaths statewide -- up by 155 since Sunday. Some 23,530 people have been hospitalized. Henry County has had 4,118 cases, with 274 hospitalizations and 88 deaths. Martinsville has had 1,485 cases, with 125 hospitalizations and 46 deaths. Patrick County has had 1,172 cases including 89 hospitalizations and 34 deaths. Franklin County has had 3,656 cases, 125 hospitalizations and 44 deaths. Danville has reported 4,233 cases (98 deaths), and Pittsylvania County has had 4,678 (58 deaths). Johns Hopkins University's real-time map showed 111,434,139 cases worldwide and 2,467,481 deaths. In the U.S. there have been 28,134,803 cases and 498,901 deaths because of COVID-19.

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