While restrictions may be easing, the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow.
The West Piedmont District — which includes Franklin, Henry and Patrick counties, and the city of Martinsville — has seen more than two dozen new cases since the beginning of May.
Franklin County saw five new cases in less than a week, between May 7 and May 12.
Franklin County was at 25 cases on Thursday May 7, with the diagnosis of a man in his 50s with unknown exposure. Since then five more people have been diagnosed, according to data from the West Piedmont Health District.
Two cases popped up in as many days. On May 10 a woman in her 20s with known exposure to the virus was identified as positive for the virus and on May 11 a man in his 50s with unknown exposure was diagnosed.
On May 12, a woman in her 50s with known exposure to the virus was identified by VDH as COVID-19 positive, making the total count for the county 30. Numbers have held steady since May 12 in Franklin County.
Five new cases were reported on Sunday — two in Henry County and three in Martinsville. Additionally, two new cases were reported in Patrick County, making the county’s total eight cases.
Three deaths have been reported in the health district, two in Henry County and one in Franklin County. Nancy Bell, West Piedmont Population Health Manager, said the Franklin County death occurred April 24 but was not immediately reported to the health district. She said no further details would be released.
Bell confirmed that all known cases are contact-traced so that officials can notify others who have been exposed to the virus. It’s also worth noting that there is no available information on recovery because there is no tracking of recovered patients.
“We don’t track recoveries because recovery times are so varied and we don’t have the manpower to continue follow up with each individual once their symptoms are resolved,” Bell explained.
As of Tuesday, Virginia had identified more than 32,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 3,900 people had been hospitalized due to the virus, while the death toll climbed above the 1,000 mark.
The aforementioned data is only the known cases.
Testing continues by referral at the Martinsville Speedway site three days a week and in Franklin County, COVID-19 testing is done at Velocity Care or Carilion in Roanoke.