March 10, 2020
Media Contact: Larry Hill: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Virginia Beach, VA.) – The Virginia Beach Health Department announced that two residents have tested “presumptive positive” for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These cases mark the first two cases in the Virginia Beach Health District, and the sixth and seventh cases in the Commonwealth of Virginia. All reported cases in Virginia have been travel related and there is no evidence of community transmission of COVID19 in Virginia.
“We are aware that exposure for these two individuals are travel related,” said Virginia Beach Health Director Dr. Demetria Lindsay. “The Public Health Department is in close communication with the two travelers and their care providers, and is conducting a thorough investigation of potential exposures. The two individuals are in stable condition and remain in isolation at this time.”
The two patients (a male in his 60’s and female in her 50’s) traveled on a Nile River cruise, which recently reported COVID-19 cases. They returned to United States on March 5. On Sunday March 8, the patients were tested at a Virginia Beach hospital. The positive test results returned today are considered presumptive, pending confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. In a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can cause complications, including death, particularly among those who are older or who have chronic medical conditions. 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.
- Avoid non-essential travel.
This is a rapidly changing situation, and information is being shared as it becomes available on the following websites: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus or www.vdh.virgina.gov/coronavirus/. Please consult www.vdh.virgina.gov/coronavirus for the latest number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Health has also activated a public information line, 877-ASK-VDH3, for questions from residents about the novel coronavirus situation.