COVID-19 numbers increased in all areas of Southside except Halifax County over the last two days.
Halifax was the only locality to hold steady in the Virginia Department of Health’s Thursday morning update. The county last saw an increase with Tuesday’s update when it nudged up one case to 30.
While the Virginia Department of Health doesn’t publicly release active versus recovered patients, Halifax County’s website lists as of Wednesday there were four active cases and 25 people have recovered. The county’s data does not reflect the additional case the Virginia Department of Health reported Tuesday.
Mecklenburg County recorded another death — now 21 — in Wednesday’s report.
On Thursday in Virginia, there were 41,401 total cases of COVID-19, the severe respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 1,152 since the previous day’s report. A total of 1,338 deaths are associated with COVID-19.
The commonwealth is one of more than a dozen state that continues to see growth in the number of daily cases reported as more testing is conducted.
The majority of cases in the Southside Health District — an area that spans three counties: Halifax, Mecklenburg and Brunswick — are linked with outbreaks. Of the total 263 cases, 185 are associated in four outbreaks in three long-term care homes and one health care setting, according to health department data. There are 67 health care workers in the Southside district who have tested positive for COVID-19.
However, data shows nearby Pittsylvania-Danville Health District is the opposite. Of the 83 cases in Danville and Pittsylvania County there are only three associated with an outbreak and only five health care workers have tested positive for the virus there.
There have been 1,986 tests for the coronavirus in the Southside Health District representing a 10.3% positive rate. With the exception of three particular days in testing spikes — 177 on April 9, 168 on April 20 and 141 on May 17 — daily testing over the last two weeks ranges from 10 to 70 in the Southside Health District,
In Virginia, the number of percent positive results is continuing a downward trend, one of the key metrics state leaders use to determine when to shift into a new phase of easing restrictions on businesses.
Most of Virginia moved into phase one on May 15. That phase allowed for salons to reopen and permitted outdoor dining — both with restrictions. Officials are looking for a sustained 14-day period of a downward tick in numbers to move the state into phase two.
Gov. Ralph Northam said in a Thursday afternoon briefing the state would remain in phase one for at least another week —June 5 — to continue to evaluate the data.
However, Northam said “Our trends are improving.”
A new statewide regulation begins today to wear face masks in indoor establishments.
The governor also acknowledged Wednesday’s “sad milestone” of the United States reaching 100,000 deaths blamed on COVID-19.
“They were all individuals with their own story,” he said. “These aren’t just numbers.”