Halifax County added to the COVID-19 death toll the same day the nation surpassed an unthinkable milestone mark: 500,000 deaths from the pandemic.

A total of 58 residents of Halifax County have died from the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. A new death was added both Monday and Tuesday.

Very little is known when someone dies of COVID-19. The health department doesn’t comment on individual cases.

It’s also never clear when someone died of the virus. The fatalities aren’t added to the logbooks until the Virginia Department of Health receives a death certificate to confirm COVID-19 as a cause. Even then, backlogs could add weeks from the time someone succumbs from the virus to the time it shows up in an online database.

But the rise adds to the grim half-a-million lives lost throughout the nation, a figure reached late Monday, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.

The real toll is likely much higher experts agree. Many fatalities went undetected in the early days of the pandemic when testing was nearly impossible.

The state added a record 172 deaths in Tuesday’s update from the state health department.

Even with rising deaths, daily cases are generally trending downward statewide from a post-holiday surge in January.

Halifax County added 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, slightly increasing the seven-day average to 13 per day.

Tuesday's data

Location Cases Deaths Hospitalized
Halifax County 2,372 58 60
Mecklenburg County 1,947 50 79
Danville 4,240 99 228
Pittsylvania County 4,684 58 159
Henry County 4,140 92 277
Martinsville 1,490 50 125
Virginia 567,039 7,658 23,698