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Of 1,300 new coronavirus cases reported statewide, 10% were in Montgomery County

Of 1,300 new coronavirus cases reported statewide, 10% were in Montgomery County

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The statewide total of COVID-19 cases now stands at 132,940, the Virginia Department of Health reported Saturday, an increase of 1,300 from the day before.

Hospitalizations rose by 63 to 10,218 Friday, and deaths were up by 11 to 2,722, according to figures posted to VDH’s website.

In Southwest Virginia, the largest number by far of new cases reported was 130 for Montgomery County.

That was nearly twice the number from the day before, and about what the entire New River Health District, which includes five counties, has averaged.

The increase is linked to Virginia Tech students returning to campus for the fall semester. The VDH reported Saturday an uptick in cases among 18- to 22-year olds in Montgomery County — similar to what was seen two weeks ago in Radford, after classes began at Radford University.

Over the past week, the city of Radford has seen a 67% decrease in new cases from the week before, according to VDH.

Data updated daily to the VDH website is based on figures submitted by 5 p.m. the previous day. It may not include the latest numbers of cases or deaths reported by localities or local health districts.

Despite recording 633 coronavirus cases from early August through Friday, Virginia Tech has said it currently has no plans to send students home for remote instruction. The rising numbers, however, did lead to Saturday’s announcement that next week’s football season opener, between Tech and the University of Virginia, had been postponed until later in the year.

Also on Saturday, the Virginia Department of Corrections reported an outbreak at the Deerfield Correctional Center, which holds some of the state’s oldest and most ill inmates.

Nearly half of the prison’s population has tested positive, and six inmates have died — the most at any state prison, according to the Department of Corrections.

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Laurence Hammack covers environmental issues, including the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and business and enterprise stories. He has been a reporter for The Roanoke Times for more than three decades.

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