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County coronavirus cases trending lower

Both Lunenburg County and local colleges are seeing very encouraging trends in coronavirus mitigation.

Monday, Nov. 2, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) listed Lunenburg County as having 156 cumulative cases of the virus, only a five case increase since last Monday, Oct. 26.

“Lunenburg actually looks really good,” Piedmont Health District Director Dr. H. Robert Nash said Monday afternoon, adding that the county is doing better than the majority of other localities in the district.

As of Nov. 2, both Longwood University and Hampden-Sydney college were down to just one active reported case of COVID-19 each.

Hampden-Sydney reported no new virus cases on its online dashboard between Oct. 26 and Nov. 2. Additionally, the college’s number of individuals in quarantine dropped from 29 to 12 in one week.

Longwood University has only reported two coronavirus cases, both self-reported cases, on its dashboard since Oct. 26.

“They’ve really got a handle on it,” Nash said of the colleges.

The significant drop in coronavirus cases at the two institutions of higher learning, while encouraging, highlights the continued increase of community spread in other parts of the health district, particularly in Prince Edward County.

Nash said Monday that Prince Edward’s PCR, a benchmark for definite positive COVID-19 testing, has risen to 6.1%.

“That’s been kind of bothersome,” he said, “because it’s a little bit worse than the whole state, which I think today is about 5.5%, maybe 5.7%.”

According to the VDH Prince Edward County saw 37 new coronavirus cases in the week of Oct. 26 to Nov. 2.

“We’re seeing more community cases,” Nash said.

Nash highlighted that this is partially expected for Prince Edward, which is in some ways the hub of the health district, with greater population density than surrounding counties.

He added, though, that the county’s numbers don’t seem to be impacted by colleges or K-12 schools. And while the health department does have its eyes on some long-term care facilities that are seeing one to two cases here or there, no facility outbreaks seem to be contributing to the virus count.

Nash said Monday the county’s seven-day rolling average has increased in the past week, but seemed to have leveled off in the past three to four days.