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Death toll from virus hits 100 in Halifax / October 14, 2021

Halifax County reached an unwanted milestone Wednesday with the reporting of a new death from COVID-19, bringing the number of lives lost in the county to 100 since the pandemic began last year.

The Virginia Department of Health’s daily tracking site shows that deaths have mounted in Halifax County in the wake of a late summer surge of COVID-19, even as caseloads have leveled off in recent days. Throughout the pandemic, deaths have followed days and weeks after patients first became infected and the most acute sufferers were hospitalized.

While VDH does not provide county-by-county information on the ages of those who die from COVID-19, it does furnish that data at the district level. In the Southside Health District, which spans Halifax, Mecklenburg and Brunswick counties, three people have died in the past five days — one person in their 40s, two others each in their 70s and 80s. Halifax has reported one death during that period, from Oct. 9-13.

“One hundred deaths is a milestone none of us wants to reach,” said Dr. Scott Spillmann, director of the Southside Health District. “This statistic, and others like it, literally cause me grief and emotional pain; my heart goes out to all those who have died, as well as their families and communities.

“It is a grim reminder of the seriousness of this illness and its potential grave consequences, especially for those who have not become fully vaccinated and for those not taking all available precautions” such as wearing a mask, washing hands, and keeping physical distance from others, Spillmann added.

September was an especially deadly period for the virus, with nine deaths recorded during the month. Prior to Wednesday’s report, VDH last updated the number of virus fatalities, at 99, on Oct. 1.

Over the past week, from Oct. 7-13, Halifax County has seen 77 new infections, and 10 more people hospitalized with COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, the health department has identified 3,737 cases in Halifax County, and 157 people have required hospital treatment.

The county’s vaccination rate continues to lag well behind the state average. In Halifax, 47.5 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, compared to 61.5 percent for Virginia as a whole. The share of the adult population in Virginia that is fully vaccinated is 73.2 percent; in Halifax County, 55.9 percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated. The adult population consists of ages 18 and up.

“Vaccination is the light to help us on our path out of these dark woods together, without it we simply are feeling our way individually,” said Spillmann. “We will reach community herd immunity, one way or the other — the questions are how and when. Vaccination is quicker, with more certainty and less pain and suffering.

“I urge all to take this milestone as a call to action — please become vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Local health departments, pharmacies, healthcare providers and others are vaccinating regularly each week. To find a convenient, free vaccination location near you, visit or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). English- and Spanish-speaking operators are available. Translation services also are available in more than 100 languages. To find a COVID testing location, visit

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