The Halifax County Public Health System this morning reported the seventh case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the county.
That report was as of 9 a.m.
Asked whether that number would include an inmate at Caledonia who tested positive, Health Director Bruce Robistow said numbers on positive cases in the county would include any inmate who is housed at Caledonia.
Asked about a report of a staff member at Halifax Community College who tested positive, Robistow said there are investigations on all cases.
Over the last two days the county has six negative results, which include two confirmed negative today.
In response to questions on how COVID-19 cases in the county are being reported, Robistow said in an email there are three types of information he receives regarding novel coronavirus.
Objective information – information that he receives from a trusted source providing him with accurate, science-based information. He shares those results as received.
Subjective information – information gleaned through investigation that is almost always received through conversation or history, therefore rendering it subjective. He does not report subjective information.
Personal and private information — information regarding the patient. “Patient information is federally protected and obviously I would not report anything that is protected information.”
Said the email: “I do receive numerous requests for information such as where in the county are the positives located. Or ... how did the positive contract the virus. As we have many small towns in our county, some with less than 500 citizens, providing such information would make it possible to stratify this form of information and could result in narrowing down who the patient is. Or, could possibly be stratified to single out the wrong person.”
Robistow said, “ … I see no value in reporting such information. The guidelines for mitigation clearly recommend that you protect yourself from everyone. Singling any logistical information would only present an opportunity to possibly become complacent in areas or venues that could be perceived as safe. Rest assured, however, that all information is shared with agencies that will use the data to be scientifically analyzed and the results will be used for scientific purposes.”
As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Northampton County Health Department reported there are 33 confirmed positive cases.
The two new additional cases are unrelated and are in isolation.
Four cases have been deemed recovered.
Further testing has been done and individual results are pending.