The VDH is reporting a smaller increase in the number of COVID-19 deaths across the Commonwealth as they continue working through a backlog of death certificates for coronavirus related deaths that occurred just after the holidays. Here in the Roanoke Valley, health officials are attributing 1 new deaths in both Roanoke City, and Roanoke County. According to today’s numbers 56 new coronavirus cases and 3 hospitalizations are being reported in our area. 25 new cases in Roanoke City, 13 new cases in Roanoke County, and 18 new cases in Botetourt County. Health officials are also reporting the state’s COVID-19 positive rate  has dropped to 8%.