March 26, 2020 Update
March 26, 2020: The New River Health District announced today an additional confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident of the district. The patient is a male in his 20s, and lives in Montgomery County. He is self-isolating, with no known exposures to the public. There is no evidence of a risk of community spread. To protect patient privacy, no further information will be provided.
“In both cases confirmed in the district thus far, the patients took the right steps to limit the risk of exposure to others around them,” said Noelle Bissell, M.D., director, New River Health District. “They acted entirely appropriately.”
“As additional testing is done locally and across the Commonwealth, we expect to continue to have confirmed cases,” said Dr. Bissell. “The Virginia Department of Health and the Montgomery County Regional Public Health Task Force continue to implement effective measures to keep New River Valley residents safe and well. Now, more than ever, it’s important for everyone to practice personal public health precautions, primarily for hand and surface hygiene and social distancing. These are the most effective ways to minimize the spread of illness and keep yourself and those around you well.”
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms, which include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms most often appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person. COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. In a small number of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions, like diabetes, heart or lung disease or compromised immune systems.
To lower the risk of spreading respiratory infections, including COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health encourages everyone to:
- Stay home when you are sick;
- Avoid contact with sick people;
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing;
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth;
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces;
- If you are experiencing symptoms, call your doctor;
- Practice social distancing. Maintain at least six feet of space between yourself and other individuals when out in public; and
- Avoid crowds of more than 10 people.
For more information, call the New River Health District’s COVID-19 public health call center at 540-267-8240. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. After hours, leave a message. For the most accurate and up-to-date information online, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/new-river, www.nrvroadtowellness.com, www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus and www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
NOTE: This case is not yet reflected in the VDH website dashboard, which is updated daily with cases recorded by 5 p.m. the evening before.