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On March 27, the Halifax County Health Department reported the first positive case of the novel coronavirus.

A little more than three months later there have been 326 total positive cases reported since testing began. The county reported its first related death on April 13 and the total remains at four, with all of them reported within the Roanoke Rapids area ZIP code.

Health Director Bruce Robistow said today, “I actually expected them to be higher just because of the trends throughout the state. Our hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are down unlike the rest of the state.”

When the county, state and country can see a break in the cases is something Robistow believes will come when there is a vaccine. “I see a break when we obtain a vaccine and not until then, however, if we all pull together we can mitigate the numbers until a vaccine becomes available.”

When a vaccine becomes available, Robistow said, is unknown. “Optimistically at the end of the year.”

Throughout the pandemic, Robistow said the health department has only issued one isolation order. “Everyone else has been compliant.”

Still, he said, there is cause to continue to exercise caution and wear facial coverings in public, wait six-feet in line and practice frequent handwashing. “Although our numbers have trended up and down, presently trending downward, our percent of positives remains high in comparison to the state.”

Now presents an opportunity to continue the downward trend, he said, and “decrease the percent of positive cases simply by everyone pulling together and practicing the three Ws. This weekend we will be tested because of the holiday weekend. Experts are predicting a spike in cases over the next two weeks due to excessive gatherings for the holiday weekend.”

Said Robistow: “Let’s pull together and prove them wrong by making every effort to follow the three Ws. This is a great opportunity for Halifax County to stand out by pulling together and beating the odds.”

In his report this afternoon, the last one of the week because of the holiday weekend, the health director said the department, as of midnight Wednesday, is aware of 1,932 confirmed tests performed on county residents.

The following is a breakdown of those results:

326 positive cases since testing began; four related deaths; and 251 recoveries.

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

There are 24 tests pending and 1,582 known negative results.

Robistow of the trend graphic included in today’s update, there continues to be a downward line in positive cases reported.

He reiterated in his report concerns over the upcoming holiday weekend and the need to continue practicing social distancing, handwashing and wearing facial coverings. “There are predictions that the holiday weekend will result in an increased number of positives over the next two weeks, after the holiday. Let’s prove them wrong.”

Northampton County

The health department reported Wednesday there were 201 total positive cases of which 172 have recovered. There are 15 related deaths.