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The ninth novel coronavirus-related death is being reported by the Halifax County Health Department.

The death, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services ZIP code database, occurred within the Roanoke Rapids area ZIP code and is the eighth within this area. The other death was reported within the Weldon area ZIP code.

Despite the news of the ninth death, data today from the health department continues to show a downward trend in the number of positive cases.

The 25-49 age bracket continues to account for 42 percent of the positive cases while the 50-64 age bracket accounts for 23.7 percent. African-Americans account for 41.5 percent of the positive cases while caucasians account for 19.6 percent.

The percent of positive tests as a proportion of total electronic lab reporting has decreased slightly for the week. “We know that as testing increases, the number of cases can climb,” health Director Bruce Robistow said in the update. “This gives us an idea of the number of cases with respect to the amount of testing being done. These are only calculated using results from labs that report to the state.”

Robistow continues to encourage county residents to practice the three Ws — handwashing, wearing a facial covering and waiting six feet apart. “Doing so can make a huge difference in your health and the health of others. Let’s all work together to protect each other. Please take this opportunity to protect our children and each other very seriously.”