Eastern Shore Health District Confirms First COVID-19 Related Death

April 8, 2020

Media Contact: Larry Hill – 757-449-4287

Eastern Shore Health District Confirms First COVID-19 Related Death

(Accomac, Va.) – Today, the Eastern Shore Health District is reporting the death of an Eastern Shore resident.  The woman in her 70s was hospitalized and confirmed positive for COVID-19 infection.  She is the first COVID-19 related death in the health district.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved member of our community.  We are thinking about her family and friends during this difficult time,” said Eastern Shore Health District Director Dr. Richard Williams. “This growing crisis has already devastated many across the Commonwealth.  We are investigating how she may have obtained the virus as we do in all cases in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

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.

Eastern Shore Health District has activated a public information line, 757-787-5880, for questions from residents about the novel coronavirus situation.

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 and avoid contact with sick people
  • Wearing a non-surgical mask could help prevent a sick person, exhibiting no symptoms, from accidentally infecting others.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.
  • Elderly and those at-risk should stay at home as much as possible; if not possible, avoid large gatherings

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.

Note: This case is not included in the statewide count of cases April 8, 2020 at www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus.