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The Halifax County Health Department this afternoon reported the fifth death related to the novel coronavirus.

Health Director Bruce Robistow declined comment on specific information of the person who died, including the name, age, and where the person lived.

The first four deaths in Halifax County have all been reported by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as occurring within the Roanoke Rapids area ZIP code. The latest death has not been entered into the state’s ZIP Code database.

According to the NCDHHS, a novel coronavirus COVID-19-associated death is defined for surveillance purposes as a death resulting from a clinically compatible illness that was confirmed to be COVID-19 by an appropriate laboratory test. There should be no period of complete recovery between COVID-19 diagnosis and death. Based on this case definition and an investigation into the illness of the case patient, NCDHHS is classifying this event as a COVID-19 related death.

A technical glitch Wednesday resulted in no report being sent.

In his report this afternoon Robistow said the health department is aware of 2,551 confirmed tests performed on Halifax County Residents. 

The following is a breakdown of those results: 474 positive cases; five related deaths; and 293 recoveries.

The approximate number of current cases can be calculated by subtracting the number of recoveries from the positive cases.

There are 29 tests pending and 2,048 known negative results.

“Regretfully today’s report includes one additional COVID-19 related death, bringing our total to five,” Robistow said in his report. “After two days of increasing numbers, our trend line continues in an upward direction. Please continue to practice the three Ws. Doing so can make a huge difference in your health and the health of others. Let’s all work together to protect each other, wear a mask, wait six feet apart, and wash and disinfect hands frequently.”

He said, “Improving your compliance with the three Ws now will both better educate children as to how to practice them and also provide a safer community for when school starts. Please take this opportunity to protect our children and each other very seriously.”

Meanwhile, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety reports the number of positive cases at Caledonia Correctional Institution remains at 74.

Caledonia was one of several state prisons where mass testing has been performed since June 18.

The number of positive cases in the Tillery community where Caledonia is located remains at 77.

Vidant  Health 

Vidant Health has been selected by the state of North Carolina to help respond to the COVID-19 crisis in communities hardest hit by the virus. 

Throughout the month of July, Vidant is partnering with local faith-based organizations to offer free testing opportunities in several eastern North Carolina counties, including Northampton, Halifax, Hertford and Edgecombe. Appointments are not required for testing. 

“No matter the size, communities across the world have been impacted by the pandemic,” Vidant said. “Areas that have access to local, rapid COVID-19 testing have the advantage of knowing where the virus is spreading and can more quickly contain it.” 

To learn more about Vidant’s free community testing and to find a testing location near you visit this link

Northampton County

The health department reported Wednesday there were 230 total positive cases of which 193 have recovered. There have been 16 related deaths.