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Renovations to Halifax County’s courthouse are nearly complete, setting the stage for court activities to move back into the historic facility in late March.

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South Hill Town Hall closes as virus threat rises; infections mount

SoVaNow.com / December 23, 2020


As the number of COVID cases in Mecklenburg County spiked over the past week, Town Manager Kim Callis said Monday he would invoke the town’s safety protocols and close Town Hall to the public “effective immediately.”

“As people gather over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays the situation is expected to get much worse. After speaking with [VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital CEO] Scott Burnette at VCU-CMH and Mayor [Dean] Marion about implementing safety measures, the Town Hall will close immediately to the public until further notice,” said Callis.

Through Tuesday, Mecklenburg County has seen 1,182 cases of COVID-19, including 116 new cases in the past two weeks, according to the Virginia Department of Health. There’s also been two additional virus-related hospitalizations and one death in that period, bringing the county’s death toll to 38 persons since March.

Callis noted that Town Hall staff will continue to be available to serve the public via telephone and email. When absolutely necessary, staff members are available to meet with others by appointment only, and all parties must wear a mask.

Signage has been posted on Town Hall doors to notify the public of the office closing.

Town Hall offices in Boydton, Chase City and Clarksville were already closed to the public.

Mecklenburg County’s Emergency Services Coordinator Jon Taylor estimates there are 100 active cases in the county and there are no current outbreaks, which means active cases are the result of community spread.

Despite the flood of new cases in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties, VCU Health has held back on plans to activate the idled Buena Vista hospital facility to expand the number of beds available for the care of coronavirus patients.

Kristy Fowler, marketing and communications specialist with VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, said VCU coronavirus surge plan that is in progress “includes redeploying staff to support other areas, onboarding additional nurses and increasing screenings, quality of PPE and other safety measures.” While the Buena Vista hospital facility remains ready to accept COVID-19 patients if needed, Fowler said “at this point it [the COVID wing at the former hospital site] has not been activated.”

Data collected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through Dec. 10 indicates that VCU Health CMH at 87 percent capacity in its ICU, with only one staffed bed available. The ICU has a total of 10 staffed ICU beds.

Fowler said “the census of the ICU fluctuates hourly” so she could provide a current number of covid patients being treated in the ICU.

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