County sees 74 new cases since Monday
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wise County increased by 74 between Monday and yesterday.
The Virginia Department of Health reported Thursday morning that the county’s total confirmed cases in the months since the pandemic began had risen to 953, as compared to 879 Monday.
The number of county COVID-19 deaths increased by one to 12.
Meanwhile, the health department’s cumulative positive case count for Norton remained at 62.
Statewide, the total number of confirmed cases across several months rose from 177,240 Monday to 180,623 yesterday, an increase of 3,383. The number of “probable” cases rose from 16,237 Monday to 17,404 yesterday, an increase of 1,167.
During the same period, the number of confirmed deaths in Virginia increased by 43 to 3,490. The number of probable COVID-19 deaths increased by two to 268.
To look at the health department’s data, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov and go to the COVID-19 Data and Resources section.
During his Tuesday press briefing, Gov. Ralph Northam noted that Southwest Virginia continues to be a cause for concern, with a COVID-19 positive case rate of 9 percent.
Northam emphasized that this region faces increasing community spread of the virus against a shrinking number of available hospital beds.
The governor said his office is working with local leaders to promote the importance of prevention measures such as physical distancing and wearing a mask in the appropriate settings.
The state health department reminds citizens that an executive order is in effect requiring people to wear cloth face coverings while they are in indoor public spaces.
“Cloth face coverings can help protect the people around you,” the department explains on its website. “Many people with COVID-19 have no signs or symptoms and can pass the virus to others without knowing it. When we talk, sneeze, or cough, tiny droplets that contain the virus can be carried into the air. Wearing a cloth face covering helps stop those droplets from going into the air or landing on surfaces.”
In other words, wearing a face mask is intended to protect not yourself, but those around you. Refusing to wear a face mask in a supermarket, convenience store, pharmacy or other indoor public setting means that you are putting those around you at greater risk.
Although the executive order has been in place for months, those traveling around Wise County and Norton continue to frequently encounter people who enter public indoor facilities without wearing a face covering. While most businesses have posted signs near entrances reminding patrons of the mask requirement, actual enforcement remains spotty at best.
Anyone who is concerned about others not being required to wear a face mask indoors can file an online complaint by going to https://redcap.vdh.virginia.gov/redcap/surveys/?s=Y4P9H7DTWA.
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