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UPDATED: Man in his 50s tests positive for COVID-19 in Henry County

UPDATED: Man in his 50s tests positive for COVID-19 in Henry County

From the Martinsville-region COVID-19/coronavirus daily update from state, nation and world: March 31 series
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The first case of COVID-19 in Henry County has been confirmed, but the source of that infection is unclear.

Virginia Department of Health West Piedmont District Population Health Manager Nancy Bell said a man in his 50s in Henry County has tested positive for novel coronavirus. He is staying isolated at home, she said.

As for how he might have been infected, she is “not sure on travel- or community-acquired,” she said.

His case is one of 1,020 total cases reported as of Monday in Virginia. VDH reports 25 people have died and 136 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19.

A total of 12,038 people in Virginia have been tested for for this virus.

In the region, there are no positive cases reported in Stuart, Martinsville or Patrick County. Five cases are listed in Franklin County, four in Danville and one in Pittsylvania County.

On March 19, state health officials said there’s a lag in the reporting of statewide numbers on VDH’s website. Figures on the website might not include cases reported by individual localities or local health districts.

There were a couple of immediate repercussions from the disclosure of the positive test.

Patrick Henry Community College closed its campus completely on both Thursdays and Fridays to allow two days for deep cleaning. All faculty and staff will be working remotely on these two days.

Although the campus is closed to the public, minimal staff will be on campus Monday through Wednesday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., the school said in a release. Students are required to have an appointment with a staff or faculty member before coming to campus on these days. PHCC’s parking lots remain open at all times so students can access the internet from their cars.

Also the Blue Ridge Regional Library, which had closed its buildings, will discontinue its book drops and curbside service as of 5 p.m. Tuesday. Non-essential staff will be sent home.

Holly Kozelsky is a writer for the Martinsville Bulletin; contact her at 276-638-8801 ext. 243.

Holly Kozelsky is a writer for the Martinsville Bulletin; contact her at 276-638-8801 ext. 243.

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