March 14, 2020
Media Contact: Lorrie Andrew-Spear
Chesterfield Health District Confirms its First Case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
(Chesterfield, VA.) – The Chesterfield Health District announced that a resident has tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This case is the first in the Chesterfield Health District.
“Confirming a case of COVID-19 in a Chesterfield resident does not come as a surprise given international travel from an affected area,” said Chesterfield Health District Director Dr. Alexander Samuel. “We have been on high alert for possible cases of residents with COVID-19 and are working hard to identify possible cases.”
The case is a resident of Chesterfield County in his 60’s. The individual recently returned from international travel to an area with confirmed cases of COVID-19. Upon return to the United States he followed guidelines to stay home and monitor his health. The resident developed symptoms and was tested for the novel coronavirus by the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services in Richmond. The health department received the positive results late last night. The patient is currently doing well and is isolated at home.
Most patients 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.
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.virginia.gov/coronavirus/. Please consult www.vdh.virginia.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.
NOTE: This case will be added to the statewide case count in the March 14 update at www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus.