Mecklenburg County recorded another death related to COVID-19 in Tuesday morning’s data report as cases continued to grow to areas in the western part of Southern Virginia.

Halifax County’s caseload remains at 30, according to data from the Virginia Department of Health. Mecklenburg only recorded one new case of the severe respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus since Sunday for a total of 218. However, another death was added Tuesday morning bringing the toll to 22.

Danville, Pittsylvania County, Martinsville and Henry County continue to see increases in cases day-over-day. Henry County now has the second highest caseload in Southern Virginia at 136 as of Tuesday morning. There have been three deaths there.

Across the state, 46,239 cases of COVID-19 were reported on Tuesday morning. Those figures, which also included probable cases, are updated daily online by about 9 a.m. based on information received by 5 p.m. the previous day. Tuesday’s report reflected an increase of 841 cases across the state from Monday’s data.

The statewide death count is now at 1,407.

COVID-19 testing available in Southside

The Pittsylvania-Danville Health District will offer free drive-thru COVID-19 screening and testing on Friday at O.T. Bonner Middle School, 300 Apollo Ave. in Danville, and Saturday at Chatham Middle School, 11650 U.S. 29 in Chatham.

Both testing sites will operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or as long as supplies last. One thousand tests will be available at each site.

Access to Apollo Avenue and the Bonner Middle School site on Friday will be from Audubon Drive only, not from Piney Forest Road.

“We are pleased to announce these community-wide testing events, and these test results will give us a good indicator of the prevalence of the disease in our community,” said Dr. Scott Spillmann, director of the Pittsylvania-Danville and Southside health district.

“But test results are only part of the picture,” he said. “And a negative test today is not a vaccine; it doesn’t protect you from a possible exposure tomorrow. We know community transmission of COVID-19 has been widespread since late March, and we know the best protection for each of us comes from personal precautions, including wearing face coverings, practicing good hygiene and social distancing. That’s how we protect ourselves and those around us.”

These are drive-thru events. Testing is available to those age 10 years and older.

All persons must remain in the vehicle, and no walk-ups will be tested. Those seeking tests should be seated near a window of the vehicle.

“Those with symptoms of respiratory illness are encouraged to come and be tested, but anyone who seeks a test will receive one,” added Spillmann. “Everyone is welcome.”

Tests are available on a first-come, first-served basis. No insurance is needed. No appointment is needed. This is a free service. This event is held in partnership with the city of Danville, Pittsylvania County and the Virginia Department of Health. Additional testing opportunities are being planned.

To protect yourself and health care workers, please wear a cloth face covering or mask. Keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and other people at all times. Tell the testing providers if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, deep cough or shortness of breath, or believe you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

To lower the risk of spreading respiratory infections, including COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health encourages residents to:

• Stay home as much as possible, especially those who are at higher risk of serious illness. Anyone who must go out in public, should wear a cloth face covering;

• Stay home when sick;

• Avoid contact with sick people;

• Cover mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not hands) when coughing or sneezing;

• Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available;

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces;

• If you are experiencing symptoms, call a doctor;

• Practice social distancing. Maintain at least 6 feet of space between others when out in public; and

• Avoid close contact with crowds of any size, and avoid any crowd of more than 10 people.