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Caledonia Correctional Institution in Tillery has 74 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19.

According to the state Department of Public Safety, Caledonia is one of the prisons in which the offender population has been mass-tested for the novel coronavirus. 

The initiative began on June 18, DPS said.

Halifax County Health Department Director Bruce Robistow confirmed this afternoon he was referring to Caldeonia when he said in Monday’s report the largest spike the county to date reflected significant testing and positive results at one facility in the county.

The testing at the prison has put the total number of positive cases within the Tillery area ZIP code at 77 since testing began, according to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services data.

There have been 809 tests performed at Caledonia and there have been 735 negative results, the state reported.

In his report this afternoon Robistow noted the number of positive cases appear to be going down again but the trend line remains in an upward direction.

He encourages residents to continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask in public and wash hands frequently. “Doing so can make a huge difference in your health and the health of others. Let’s all work together to protect each other.” 

As of midnight Monday Robistow reported the health department is aware of 2,436 confirmed tests performed on Halifax County residents. 

The following is a breakdown of those results:

442 positive cases; four related deaths and 288 recoveries.

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

There are 37 tests pending and 1,957 known negative results.

Economic data

In her report to Halifax County commissioners Monday, Economic Development Director Cathy Scott told the board as of June 30, the number of small businesses opened in the county had decreased by 12 percent compared to January.

Time spent in the workplace had decreased by 45 percent as of July 3.

By comparison, the time Halifax County residents had spent in grocery stores had increased by 22 percent.

Visits to retail businesses and restaurants have increased by 17 percent.

In reporting economic indicators during the pandemic, Scott said the county unemployment rate is at 12.6 percent, compared to 5.5 percent in May of last year.

The number of unemployed people in the county is 2,588.

Scott noted 65 percent of unemployment claims — 1,232 — filed in May were related to COVID-19.

While building permits issued are over the same time last May, gross retail sales have seen a 15.38 decrease for this year compared to 2019.