One week, 216 cases, five deaths

December 29, 2020

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wise County increased by 188 in one week.

The Virginia Department of Health reported Monday morning that the county’s total confirmed cases in the months since the pandemic began had risen to 1,922, as compared to 1,734 Dec. 21.

The number of county COVID-19 deaths increased by four in one week, reaching 57.

Meanwhile, the health department’s cumulative positive case count for Norton increased by 28 to 162. Also, Norton has now recorded its first virus-related death.

Statewide, the total number of confirmed cases across several months rose from 265,785 Dec. 21 to 284,344 yesterday, an increase of 18,559. The number of “probable” cases rose from 45,105 Dec. 21 to 51,831 yesterday, an increase of 6,726.

During the same period, the number of confirmed deaths in Virginia increased by 96 to 4,288. The number of probable COVID-19 deaths increased by 111 to 573.

To look at the health department’s data, visit and go to the COVID-19 Data and Resources section.


The state health department reminds citizens that an executive order is in effect requiring people to wear cloth face coverings while they are in indoor public spaces.

“Cloth face coverings can help protect the people around you,” the department explains on its website. “Many people with COVID-19 have no signs or symptoms and can pass the virus to others without knowing it. When we talk, sneeze, or cough, tiny droplets that contain the virus can be carried into the air. Wearing a cloth face covering helps stop those droplets from going into the air or landing on surfaces.”

In other words, wearing a face mask is intended to protect not yourself, but those around you. Refusing to wear a face mask in a supermarket, convenience store, pharmacy or other indoor public setting means that you are putting those around you at greater risk.

Although the executive order has been in place since late May, those traveling around Wise County and Norton continue to frequently encounter people who enter public indoor facilities without wearing a face covering. While most businesses have posted signs near entrances reminding patrons of the mask requirement, actual enforcement remains spotty at best.

Anyone who is concerned about others not being required to wear a face mask indoors can file an online complaint by going to