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Virus cases accelerate in Halifax / July 13, 2020
Halifax County is now up to 83 cases of COVID-19, doubling the number of reported infections in little more than three weeks.

At the same time, the Southside Health Department is reporting the first outbreak of the virus at a congregated setting — a category that spans everything from church to work — in its coverage area of Halifax, Mecklenburg and Brunswick counties.

Prior to this weekend, there were six known outbreak sites in the three-county area, a number that has now risen to seven. Three of the outbreaks have been at area nursing homes, two at correctional facilities, and one in a health care setting. The newest outbreak is at a congregated setting. That refers to a place where individuals congregate, a wide-ranging category that covers everything from adult day centers to spas and gyms.

The health department does not disclose the identity of outbreak sites, where two or more persons have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Three outbreak sites, however, are known — two nursing homes in Mecklenburg where 26 people have died, and a women-only prison facility in Brunswick County, where no deaths are reported.

In recent days, the Dollar General Distribution Center in South Boston has closed twice due to employees testing positive for the virus. It is unclear, however, if the local industry would qualify as an outbreak site under health department guidelines, given the amount of time that passed between the reporting of the employee positive test results.

Halifax’s caseload grew from 65 persons on Monday, July 6 to 83 persons on Sunday, July 12, according to Virginia Health Department data. On June 26, the county’s caseload stood at 42.

Pittsylvania County also has seen a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, from 137 to 171 over the past seven days, and in the City of Danville, the caseload has risen from 99 to 135 people over the same period.

In Mecklenburg County, the health department reports 257 cases as of Sunday, a rise of eight in the past week.

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262 cases as of 7/14/2020

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