COVID-19 cases have increased in the West Piedmont Health District (WPHD) since the last part of 2022.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, Martinsville and Patrick County are experiencing high transmission levels. Henry and Franklin counting are experiencing medium transmission levels.
Nancy Bell, population health manager for the district, said this means “that the virus is spreading at a higher rate than normal.”
For the 13 weeks before Jan. 10, there were 868 cases in Henry County, and seven deaths, with Martinsville reporting 221 cases and one death.
Patrick County finished 2022 off with 319 cases and three deaths. There were 35 cases for the week of Jan. 9-13.
Throughout the pandemic, COVID infections have been in waves, with some cases influenced by the weather and people gathering indoors in closer proximity.
“After holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year, an increase in infections in expected due to people gathering at the holidays,” Bell said, and added that “airplane, bus, and train travel also is a way for COVID to spread.”
Bell said the influx of cases came as the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) officially renewed the public health emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the 12th renewal of the public health emergency that was first declared in Jan. 2020. Each public health emergency declaration lasts for 90 days before expiring or getting renewed.
As of Jan. 17, 45.4 percent of the population, or 7,935 people, were fully vaccinated in Patrick County. There were 22,436 vaccines administered, and 52 percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated.
In Henry County, 52 percent of the population, or 26,180 people, are fully vaccinated, with 73,571 vaccines administered to the population and 60.1 percent of the adult population considered fully vaccinated.
In the City of Martinsville, 63.6 percent of the population, or 7,861 people, are fully vaccinated. More than 77 percent of the adult population has been fully vaccinated, and 22,219 vaccines were administered.
As of Jan. 17, information from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) website suggests there have been 895 cases and six deaths in Henry County over the past 13 weeks. In Patrick County, 326 cases and four deaths were reported. In the City of Martinsville, 231 cases and one death were reported in the same time frame.
Information from the VDH website stated there have been 15,122 cases and 298 deaths in Henry County. In Patrick County, 4,604 cases and 87 deaths were reported. In the City of Martinsville, there were 4,242 cases reported and 119 dead.
The CDC website suggested there have been 101,518,229 cases in the United States and 1,095,149 dead from coronavirus.
For more tips on how to stay safe, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov.