April 24, 2020
Media Contact: Lorrie Andrew-Spear, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lord Fairfax Health District Confirms First Fatality Associated with COVID-19
(Winchester, Virginia) — The Virginia Department of Health’s Lord Fairfax Health District announced that a resident of Shenandoah County, who was ill with COVID-19 has died.
“We regret to announce that we have experienced our first COVID-19-related fatality in a resident of our health district,” said Lord Fairfax Health District Director Dr. Colin Greene. “We at VDH extend sincere condolences to all family and friends.”
“This tragic event underscores that fact that COVID-19 is widespread in the Valley and throughout Virginia, and it is up to all of us to minimize its effect,” said Dr. Greene. “Everyone, especially high-risk individuals, are strongly advised to take steps to minimize contact with others who are ill: practice social distancing, stay at home as much as possible, and wear a cloth face covering when outside the home and likely to encounter others.”
In some patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, 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 as much as possible, except for essential travel;
- If you must go out in public, wear a cloth face covering;
- 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 close contact with crowds of any size, and avoid any crowd of more than 10 people.
- The CDC also recommends the use of cloth face coverings when outside the home and near others.
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(NOTE: This fatality is not yet reflected in the VDH website dashboard, which is updated each morning.)