COVID-19 cases continue a steady climb in Southside Virginia.
Halifax County added four new cases since Sunday for a total of 53. Since June 17, the county has recorded 15 cases of the severe raspatory illness that’s caused by the coronavirus. In statistical terms, that correlates to the number of active cases, since health officials use a general two-week period for determination.
The Pittsylvania-Danville Health District added 20 new cases since Sunday, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
Since Sunday, Henry County’s tally went up by 11 to 260, and Martinsville increased by six for a total of 78.
Mecklenburg County is the only area among Southern Virginia localities to not see any increases. The caseload of 240 has stayed steady since Saturday.
In Virginia, there were 62,787 cases reported Tuesday, representing an increase of 598. There were 1,763 deaths associated with COVID-19, the health department reported.
In a weekend phone interview with The Gazette, Dr. Scott Spillmann, who oversees the Southside and Pittsylvania-Danville Health districts, attributed the recent rise to myriad factors including trips to Myrtle Beach, person-to-person spread and people working outside of the region. In addition, a general relaxed attitude on wearing face masks and social distancing was observed.
After reaching a low of 1.8% on June 14, the percent positive in the Southside Health District — encompassing Halifax, Mecklenburg and Brunswick counties — is now at 7.7%. The parent positive is a seven-day metric that measures the overall number of tests with the percentage that return positive.
Virginia had a 6% positive rate on Tuesday, after reaching a low of 5.8% on June 23.
Virginia enters Phase Three of reopening after restrictions in March shuttered many businesses. Overall, Virginia hasn’t seen the severe spike in cases compared to other states in the South.