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Little information available on most recent COVID-19 death, additional outbreaks in region

Little information available on most recent COVID-19 death, additional outbreaks in region

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The second death caused by COVID-19 in Danville was reported by the Virginia Department of Health on Friday morning, and though state data shows the person was over the age of 80, no other data is immediately available.

“We cannot provide info for a specific incident,” Virginia Department of Health spokesman Robert Parker wrote in an email.

There also is little information available about two new outbreaks in the region that recently have been reported by the state health department.

Statewide, COVID-19 has caused 1,136 deaths — 1,100 confirmed and 36 probable. The VDH defines probable COVID-19 cases as people who are symptomatic with a known exposure to COVID-19, but have not been confirmed with a positive test.

The city of Danville has seen a total of 46 cases of the novel coronavirus, while Pittsylvania County has 27.

Statewide, the seven-day average of the percentage of positive tests is trending downward, a key metric used in entering phase one of reopening the state on Friday. The seven-day average, which includes May 10 through May 17, is 14.7%, compared to just 4.7% in the Pittsylvania-Danville District.

The Virginia Department of Health is reporting one Pittsylvania County death that has been caused by the virus. A traveling Gretna pastor — 66-year-old Landon Spradlin — contracted the virus while traveling and died in a North Carolina hospital. The other death in Danville was at Brookdale Danville Piedmont, an assisted living facility which is the site of one of three outbreaks — defined as more than two lab confirmed cases — in the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District.

Brookdale corporate spokeswoman Heather Hunter said there currently are no positive cases of COVID-19 within the facility.

“We continue to follow our strict infection control procedures,” she wrote in an email.

The other two outbreaks happened in a congregate setting, which, as defined by the Virginia Department of Health, include places like daycare centers, churches, businesses, gyms, neighborhood streets and even private homes.

When asked, Virginia Department of Health Robert Parker did not elaborate about which types of locations are experiencing the outbreaks.

“We do not specify how many cases are in each specific example within each category,” Parker wrote.

Between the three outbreaks, there are seven total cases — five of which are healthcare workers. When asked, Parker did not provide any more details about these cases.

“We do not identify which cases are in which outbreaks or which facilities, at the district level. That info is provided, in aggregate, for the state,” he wrote.

The majority of Virginia localities began phase one of reopening last Friday, while several densely populated areas where the case counts are higher — including the city of Richmond, Northern Virginia, and Accomack County — are continuing to wait to begin the reopening process.

Ayers reports for the Register & Bee. Reach him at (434) 791-7981.

Ayers reports for the Register & Bee. Reach him at (434) 791-7981.

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