March 19, 2020
Media Contact: Robert Parker, public information officer, Western Region, email@example.com
Central Shenandoah Health District Confirms Additional Cases of COVID-19
(STAUNTON, Virginia) – The Virginia Department of Health’s Central Shenandoah Health District (CSHD) announced today an additional two COVID-19 cases in the Harrisonburg – Rockingham area. CSHD now has a total of three positive COVID-19 cases.
“As we continue to see new cases of COVID-19 in our community and throughout the Commonwealth, it is critical that people follow the public health guidelines on social distancing and good hygiene,” said Laura Kornegay, M.D., director, CSHD. “Social distancing is one of the most effective strategies in lessening the impact of this pandemic.”
People should avoid social gatherings of more than 10 individuals. If you are 65 years or older, or if you have a serious chronic medical conditions (e.g., heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, immune compromise), you should seriously consider staying at home. “We all have a responsibility and duty to do everything we can to protect ourselves and our community from this novel coronavirus,” said Dr. Kornegay.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion 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. Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Symptoms 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.
To lower the risk of respiratory germ spread, including COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health encourages the following effective behaviors:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- If you are experiencing symptoms, call your doctor.
As the COVID-19 outbreak expands, recommendations may change. CSHD is working closely with the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide the best possible guidance for the community.
For general questions about COVID-19, community members may call the CSHD COVID-19 Hotline at 855-949-8378. For the latest on COVID-19, visit: www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus. (These cases are not yet reflected in this dashboard, which was updated today, March 19, 2020).