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Three died of COVID-19 in Pittsylvania County in the past week and eight more died in Danville, including three Monday morning, bringing the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District death toll to 34 as of Monday.

Just three weeks ago, Aug. 31, the district's death toll was only 16.

Also this week, the first child died of COVID-19 in the state of Virginia, reported to be between the ages of 10 and 19.

The child was reported dead Friday in the Southside Health District, which borders North Carolina, and includes Brunswick, Halifax and Mecklenburg counties.

“We were extremely saddened to learn of the loss of the state’s first adolescent with COVID-19. On behalf of all of us at VDH, I extend sincere condolences to the teenager’s family and loved ones,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A. “No age group is immune from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this unfortunate event, along with the increasing numbers of coronavirus cases we are seeing in some areas of the Commonwealth, is a reminder that we all need to do our part to help slow the spread of virus in the community.”

The VDH will disclose no further information about the child to protect privacy and out of respect for the patient’s family.

Of the 34 deaths in Pittsylvania-Danville to date, three people were in their 40s, three people were in their 50s, seven people were in their 60s, four people were in their 70s and 17 people were over 80 years old at the time of death, according to information from the VDH.

Pittsylvania-Danville Monday reported a 10.6-percent positive testing rate, nearly 3 percent higher than last week and the highest in the state – also, nearly double the state average of 5.9 percent.

Locally, 20,889 have been tested for the virus, and 1,790 have tested positive.

In the commonwealth, health officials tested 1.9 million and 141,138 have tested positive.

Pittsylvania-Danville accounts for 134 of Virginia's 10,613 hospitalizations.

Virginia's COVID-19 death toll stands at 3,021.

The VDH continues to urge all Virginians to continue to limit exposure by staying 6 feet from others and wearing a cloth mask while in public settings.

Washing hands often, staying home if you are sick and disinfecting high-touch surfaces are all very important ways to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to the CDC.

VDH officials maintain that all Virginians should continue to limit group gatherings of more than 250, continue to practice social distancing, avoid mass gatherings and avoid crowded places.

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