A resident of Martinsville is the most recent victim of COVID-19 in the West Piedmont Health District. This death was reported this morning by the Virginia Department of Health. It could have occurred at any time just about because VDH typically checks death certificates to verify cause before adding to its database. We don’t know much about any individual or case, but VDH does track all data by a person’s residence. We know this is the 44th victim from Martinsville — second only to Henry County in the district — and the 201st in the health district, the first announced since Saturday, the 23rd recorded in February. This death comes on a day when the case count continues to decline, with 43 new entries, along with 4 new hospitalizations. This kept the 7-day rolling average of new cases at 43 and dropped the ratio per 100,000 population in the past 14 days to 498.8, the first time it has been below 500 in months. Franklin County reported 20 of those cases and 2 hospitalizations. Henry County had 15 and 1, respectively. Martinsville had 6 new cases, and Patrick County had 2, with the other hospitalization. Since the district’s first case was posted on March 20, there have been 10,350, along with 606 hospitalizations and those 201 deaths….Businesses in Martinsville and Henry County hare hanging yellow ribbons on their companies as a sign of support and comfort to those in the area who have had losses because of COVID-19….The Virginia Department of Health has launched a centralized preregistration system for COVID-19 vaccinations but warned that with millions of people expected to visit the site on Tuesday, delays and problems might occur. The department said anyone who cannot get through to vaccinate.virginia.gov should try again. A hotline number for people who cannot use computers will be announced by Gov. Ralph Northam today….President Joe Biden set a new deadline at a CNN town hall last night: By the end of July, the US will have enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to vaccinate every single American. He also said the nation could hope to return to normal by next Christmas, adding that he didn’t want to over-promise….Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was heralded as the textbook example of crisis leadership last year, with his clear-eyed coronavirus briefings and passionate appeals to the federal government for more medical supplies. He even wrote a book offering lessons on leadership. Now, all of that is in question. Cuomo is at the center of a controversy over COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, how they were counted and how his administration handled requests for that data. A top aide told state lawmakers earlier this month that his administration delayed releasing nursing home data over concerns about a potential federal investigation by the Trump administration. Cuomo admitted some fault this week, but ultimately defended the decision to delay releasing data on deaths. Lawmakers from both parties have called for an investigation and limitations on his executive powers…. U.S. scientists would gain vastly expanded capabilities to identify potentially deadlier coronavirus mutations under legislation advancing in Congress to provide $1.75 billion for genomic sequencing….The Virginia Department of Health reports this morning there have been 555,592 cases and 7,075 deaths statewide — up by 38 since Tuesday. Some 23,179 people have been hospitalized. Henry County has had 4,085 cases, with 271 hospitalizations and 83 deaths. Martinsville has had 1,473 cases, with 124 hospitalizations and 44 deaths. Patrick County has had 1,162 cases including 89 hospitalizations and 32 deaths. Franklin County has had 3,630 cases, 122 hospitalizations and 42 deaths. Danville has reported 4,142 cases (92 deaths), and Pittsylvania County has had 4,605 (56 deaths). Johns Hopkins University’s real-time map showed 109,604,779 cases worldwide and 2,421,283 deaths. In the U.S. there have been 27,757,505 cases and 488,100 deaths because of COVID-19.
Since the district’s first case was posted on March 20, there have been 10,175 in the district
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