3-20-20 Update:

Southwest Virginia now has another case of COVID-19, according to reports.

Reports stated that a woman in her 60s, who lives in Franklin County, has tested positive for coronavirus and is currently isolated at her home and being monitored. 

This comes one day after it was confirmed that a patient at Carilion Clinic in Roanoke tested positive for the coronavirus. 

There are now 122 presumptively positive cases in Virginia, with another 35 more potential cases being looked at, according to reports.


3-19-20 Update:

A patient in southwest Virginia has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Carilion Clinic in Roanoke confirmed the case and noted that it was an elderly patient from the the Alleghany Health District.

The patient was showing symptoms of the coronavirus and was admitted into Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital on Monday and placed in a COVID-19 isolation unit, according to the Carilion Clinic.

The company stated that results came back today and were immediately shared with the Virginia Department of Health, which is looking into patient contacts.

Carilion Clinic stated that the patient is in serious condition and that staff are following protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.

There have been 172 patients tested for COVID-19 at Carilion Clinic. Of those, 69 have negative results, one was tested positive, and 102 await results.

3-18-20 Update:

According to reports, the J.Crew Distribution Center in Lynchburg closed after announcing that an employee who had been having flu-like symptoms tested "preliminary positive" for the coronavirus.

The distribution center said it hopes to reopen Thursday after taking precautionary measures including cleaning the facilities to ensure the safety of its employees.

The employee has not been confirmed to have the virus, but that "additional testing was required" according to a statement by a representative from the company's New York office.

3-17-20 Update:

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order to prohibit the gathering of more than 10 people at restaurants, theaters and fitness centers to combat the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.

The order also warns those establishments that the State Health Commissioner may take whatever actions are necessary to enforce the ban, including the suspension of operating license. Those who do not abide by the order may be subjected to a Class 1 misdemeanor violation.

The order does not address other public or private gatherings.

Separately, Gov. Northam also requests that people age 65 or older impose a self-quarantine.

3-16-20 Update:

The Virginia Department of Health and the Peninsula Health District confirmed the state’s second death due to coronavirus: a males in his 70s who died of respiratory failure caused by the virus.

The sources of their contraction of the virus are unknown.

3-15-20 Update:

After closing down all K-12 school's, Governor Ralph Northam has decided to ban public gatherings of more than 100.

According to reports, Northam met with local officials in the Peninsula Health District, the location where the first coronavirus related death was reported. 

The total number of coronavirus cases in Virginia has now went up to 45, according to reports. 

3-14-20 Update: 

Virginia has reported it's first death from the coronavirus, according to multiple reports.

The victim was an elderly men in his 70s, with reports revealing the cause of his death involved respiratory failure. His death came one day after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Yesterday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered all K-12 schools to be closed for two weeks to try and slow the spread of the virus. 

According to Governor Northam's Twitter account, the number of confirmed cases for coronavirus has went up to 41. 

3-13-20 Update: 

Governor Ralph Northam has ordered all Virginia's K-12 schools to be closed for two weeks, according to multiple reports.

The decision comes after a state of emergency was declared for Virginia yesterday. The Virginia Department of Education will also be working with the school divisions and the Department of Social Services to help the students who have reduced or free lunch to still have access to those programs, according to multiple reports. 

Northam has let it be known that the main reason for the decision is to ensure that all residents of Virginia are safe and healthy, and believes this decision will help stop the spread of the virus, according to reports. 

Northam has also stated that he hopes the decision itself will have little disruption when it comes to academics, according to reports. 

3-12-20 Update: 

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency after the outbreak of the coronavirus.

According to Virginia Department of Health, Virginia has "17 presumptive positive cases." Northam has advised Virginia residents to avoid large gatherings and canceling all state conferences and large events, according to reports. 

3-11-20 Original: 

Central Virginia has reported its first known case of coronavirus. This was confirmed by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) on Wednesday. The Chickahominy district is home to the ninth case of coronavirus in Virginia since the first COVID-19 coronavirus case in Virginian was confirmed by health officials on March 7.

This ninth presumptive case is a Hanover teen who had returned from an international trip where COVID-19 was spreading in a community. Upon the teen’s arrival back home on March 4, he followed proper guidelines to stay home for two weeks. Symptoms of COVID-19 arose on March 9. He was tested for coronavirus and the test results came back positive but are considered presumptive. They are waiting for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide confirmation.

“Discovering a case of COVID-19 in our community does not come as a surprise given international travel from an affected area,” said Chickahominy Health District Director Dr. Thomas Franck in a press release from the VDH. “We are fortunate that the resident followed our public health advice in accordance with the latest guidelines by staying home and limiting contact with others; consequently, we believe the risk to the general community remains low.”

According to the press release, the teen is "currently doing well and is isolated at home."

While public officials have believed that the risk of the virus’s spread is low, citizens of Virginia are encouraged to do their part to keep the illness from spreading.

On Jan. 30, The World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations Emergency Committee declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern.”

Symptoms of the coronavirus include mild to severe respiratory illness, fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms can appear 2 to 14 days after being exposed.

In a press briefing posted Wednesday morning, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the Center for Disease Control’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, provided stats on the virus.

“As of today, there are more than 110,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide,” said Messonnier. “In the U.S., as of Sunday evening, 34 states plus New York City and D.C. have reported more than 500 cases of COVID-19 to CDC and 19 deaths. Nearly half of reported cases are in California and Washington; 18 of the deaths are in Washington. The remaining one is in California. Right now the states with the most cases are California and Washington.”

She added that a report from the World Health Organization described the virus as “highly contagious.” Reports from China that went through over 70,000 COVID-19 patients said that approximately 80 percent of the cases were mild and that people recovered.

VHD recommends avoiding close contact with people who are sick. People should avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Handwashing is an important tactic to combatting the spread of coronavirus — wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

As far as hand sanitizer goes, it should have at least 60 percent alcohol for use when soap and water are unavailable.

Use a tissue to cough or sneeze. Afterward, the tissue should be disposed into the trash bin.

The American Red Cross, according to a press release this week, is urging healthy and eligible individuals to give blood or platelets to help keep the blood supply from experiencing shortages.

In a tweet dated March 9, President Donald Trump provided his own observations on the coronavirus in an effort to bring some perspective to the situation.

“So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu,” tweeted Trump. “It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”

Multiple attempts to contact local officials were unsuccessful as of Wednesday.

To learn more about donating blood or platelets, visit redcrossblood.org.

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