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Martinsville-region COVID-19/coronavirus daily update from state, nation and world: Sept 16

Martinsville-region COVID-19/coronavirus daily update from state, nation and world: Sept 16

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Five more people are dead today of COVID-19 in Patrick County, and now the county, one of the last in the state with a positive case of the novel coronavirus, has seen 23 residents die and has surpassed Henry County (18) for the most deaths in the West Piedmont District. There also was a death of a resident of Martinsville, and the district continued the sort of surge that had played out in August but had diminished in early September. There have been 17 deaths this week recorded by the Virginia Department of Health, and that's now 54 deaths in the district since the virus began. The 6 new deaths were also 13% of all deaths statewide reported Wednesday The district saw 19 new cases (8 in Henry County, 5 in Patrick County, 2 in Martinsville and 4 in Franklin County). There were new hospitalizations in Henry and Patrick Counties. The 10 deaths in the district on Tuesday were a one-day mark -- and pushed the district's total to 48 deaths -- but the more instructive news is that senior-care facilities in Martinsville and Henry County have been ordered to test their employees and residents twice a week to stop outbreaks and spreads of the coronavirus. Martinsville City Public Schools will wait until after the first nine weeks to discuss a potential return to the classroom. Virginia officials are looking at outbreaks at state facilities. Gov. Northam in his address Tuesday looked to reassure voters as elections get underway on Friday. President Trump did a town-hall-style meeting with undecided voters on ABC on Tuesday night and made numerous false statements about the pandemic and his approach to it, including mentioning the "herd mentality" approach that failed in Europe. The coronavirus may have been lurking in the US as early as December, according to a new study, a full month earlier than believed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study found a significant increase in hospital visits at that time by patients who reported respiratory illnesses. The National Institutes of Health has expressed concern over a potential side effect in drugmaker AstraZeneca's vaccine trial after a participant suffered spinal cord damage. The FDA is weighing whether to resume the trial in the U.S. The Virginia Department of Health reports this morning there have been 136,359 cases and 2,884 deaths statewide -- up by 45 from Tuesday. Some 10,389 people have been hospitalized. Henry County has had 971 cases, with 106 hospitalizations and 18 deaths. Martinsville has had 368 cases, with 57 hospitalizations and 10 deaths. Patrick County has had 260 cases including 49 hospitalizations and 23 deaths. Franklin County has had 284 cases, 15 hospitalizations and 3 deaths. Danville has reported 783 cases, and Pittsylvania County has had 921. Johns Hopkins University's real-time map showed 29,611,845 cases worldwide and 935,929 deaths. In the U.S. there are 6,696,859. There have been 195,961 deaths in the U.S. because of COVID-19.

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