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Halifax hits new high with 14 covid cases in single day / September 10, 2020

Halifax County recorded 14 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the second double-digit gain in infections over a five-day period.

COVID-19 positive test results in Halifax County since the pandemic hit now stand at 257, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The county emergency services office reports a slightly higher number of overall cases — 259 — through Wednesday. Emergency services is counting 67 active cases in Halifax County, while 188 people are said to have recovered. Halifax has had four people die of the virus.

Over the past week, from Sept. 3-9, the number of positive cases has risen by 41 people, a sign that the spread of COVID-19 in Halifax is accelerating. On Saturday, the county added 11 cases, the first time the daily increase topped double digits.

However, Halifax County’s overall caseload remains well below that of its neighbors. Pittsylvania County now has 869 cases, with 62 new infections in the past week. Two more people in Pittsylvania have died since Sept. 3, bringing the county’s death toll to six.

In the City of Danville, 698 people have tested positive for COVID-19, with 17 lives lost. Mecklenburg County surpassed 600 cases this week, with the overall caseload standing at 609 through Wednesday. 33 people in Mecklenburg have died.

Halifax County is seeing accelerated spread of the virus, according to the COVID Risk Level Dashboard maintained by the Harvard Global Health Institute and Brown University School of Public Health, which are tracking the pandemic in all of America’s cities and counties. Halifax’s risk level is “Orange” — a level where researchers recommend stay-at-home orders or, at a minimum, rigorous test-and-trace programs to keep new infections in check.

Danville and Mecklenburg are “tipping point” localities, denoted in red, where stay-at-home orders are necessary, according to the health institutes. Pittsylvania, with an average of 20.4 new cases daily per 100,000 population, is approaching tipping point status, defined as 25 or more cases daily.

Halifax is averaging 10.5 cases new cases per day, adjusted for population of 100,000.

The Southside Health District, which spans Halifax, Mecklenburg and Brunswick counties, also has witnessed 12 outbreaks through Wednesday. The state health department defines outbreak sites as places where two or more people in a defined group test positive for the disease. VDH does not identify specific outbreak sites, or break out the outbreak information by county.

In the local health district, outbreaks have been confirmed at three long-term care facilities, two correctional facilities, one health care setting, one educational setting, and five “congregant settings” — a category that includes workplaces, day care sites, churches, gyms, entertainment venues and other places where people gather.

The recent rise in outbreaks in the Southside Health District has occurred in the broad category of congregant settings, and it is unknown if any of the new outbreaks have occurred in Halifax County.

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