There are 10 residents of the West Piedmont Health District dead today from COVID-19, the second-highest single-day total since the pandemic began. These deaths could have occurred earlier — VDH awaits death certificates before posting the data — but it was remarkable surge in what has been the nation’s deadliest month. Five of the deaths were of Henry County residents, 4 were from Martinsville and 1 from Franklin County. That’s now 170 deaths in the district, with 109 of them residents of Henry County and Martinsville. There also were 109 more cases and 4 more hospitalizations reported by VDH. Henry County had 52 cases, and Franklin County had 30 (and a hospitalization). Patrick County had 14 and Martinsville 13 (with 3 hospitalizations)….As officials at the West Piedmont Health Districts and their medical partners and employment centers are starting the process of delivering the first of the two required injections, there is new leadership in place at Sovah Health-Martinsville….Gov. Ralph Northam said Wednesday he feels the frustration of Virginians who cannot get a clear answer on how to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine….Only half of COVID-19 vaccines delivered to US states have been used, but Biden administration officials say some of that is being reserved for the all-important second dose that completes the vaccine process. And FEMA is close to finishing a request for up to 10,000 service members to help administer vaccines. Meanwhile, Oklahoma is trying to return the state’s $2 million stockpile of hydroxychloroquine, which had been touted by some as a treatment for COVID-19. In Peru, things are getting so bad that the country has instituted widespread lockdowns and is racing to secure more ICU beds. In India, a decline in cases has led to some easing of public activity restrictions. Cases are trending lower in the US as well, but estimates claim another 80,000 people could die of the virus in the next few weeks….January has already become the worst month for US Covid-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic. As of Tuesday, there have been more than 79,000 coronavirus fatalities, topping the record set in December….Biden, calling the push a “wartime effort,” said Tuesday the administration was working to buy an additional 100 million doses of each of the two approved coronavirus vaccines. He acknowledged that states in recent weeks have been left guessing how much vaccine they will have from one week to the next….Levar M. Stoney, the mayor of Richmond, has announced that he has tested positive for the coronavirus….How many variants of the coronavirus are there? Check this explainer….The Virginia Department of Health reports this morning there have been 493,674 cases and 6,308 deaths statewide — up by 80 since Tuesday. Some 21,113 people have been hospitalized. Henry County has had 3,684 cases, with 246 hospitalizations and 73 deaths. Martinsville has had 1,345 cases, with 115 hospitalizations and 36 deaths. Patrick County has had 1,035 cases including 76 hospitalizations and 28 deaths. Franklin County has had 3,271 cases, 104 hospitalizations and 33 deaths. Danville has reported 3,537 cases (64 deaths), and Pittsylvania County has had 4,039 (46 deaths). Johns Hopkins University’s real-time map showed 100,977,927 cases worldwide and 2,177,418 deaths. In the U.S. there have been 25,599,961 cases and 429,178 deaths because of COVID-19.

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