Just this month alone, new COVID-19 cases in Franklin County have nearly doubled, increasing by almost 300 to a total of 662 as of Monday.

Within the span of nine days, new confirmed cases increased by 100 and was at 471 as of an Oct. 9 report. This prompted the treasurer’s office to close to the public last week.

The number of cases then increased by an additional 191 since that time and is at 662 as of Monday. There have been 26 hospitalizations and 4 deaths, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Comparing it to other counties, Bedford County has also had a sharp increase of new cases this month and is at 1,075 confirmed cases with 50 hospitalizations and 16 deaths. Pittsylvania County remains steady but has 1,220 cases, 71 hospitalizations and 16 deaths.

Franklin County urges its citizens and guests to help one another to work in reducing community spread of COVID-19 in the county. Virginia Health Department officials indicate the Roanoke region is seeing sustained community transmission of COVID-19, as the number of confirmed cases has risen to a larger level and multiple outbreaks are occurring.

On Monday, Oct. 12, Franklin County Treasurer Susan Wray announced that her office would be closed to the public for the week in an effort to protect employees and citizens from the community spread of COVID-19.

Citizens were asked to pay taxes online at https://franklinvatax.com/taxSearch, over the phone by calling 1-888-272-9829 or in-person using the designated drop box at the Treasurer’s Office located in the Franklin County Government Center.

Citizens were also asked to conduct other business with the Treasurer’s Office via https://www.franklincountyva.gov/492/Treasureror or by calling 540-483-3078.

The Franklin County Government Center will remain open for in-person absentee voting at the Registrar’s Office and other county services.

However, Franklin County expressed it is vitally important for area residents and visitors to continue to adhere to wearing facial coverings or masks in public areas, exercise social distancing and practice good hand hygiene.

“Such measures are critical in an effort for not only one’s personal health, but also for the health of the County’s hospital, nursing home, first responders and other medical care workers during the ongoing pandemic,” the county stated in a press release.

 The county urged everyone to take the necessary precautions and help keep the medical community safe at this time.

Residents are urged to practice healthy disease prevention practices including:

• Wearing a mask or face covering.

• Exercising Social Distancing of at least 6 feet.

• Washing hands often with soap (preferably 20 or more second duration).

• Avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands.

• Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

• Staying home if you are sick.

• Avoiding large groups of persons.

• Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

“The county is committed to providing a safe environment for our employees and our citizens while simultaneously providing quality services,” a press release stated. “Franklin County reminds citizens to utilize phone, online, curbside and email interaction with county departments when possible. County staff are readily available to provide assistance with service needs.”

Online service information may be found on the Franklin County website, www.franklincountyva.gov, or by calling or emailing county departments directly.

Read more stories in the current issue of the Smith Mountain Eagle newspaper. Pick up a copy or subscribe at www.smithmountaineagle.com/subscriber_services to view articles in the print and/or e-edition version.

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