Mount Rogers Health District Announces Positive Case of COVID-19 in Assisted Living Facility

April 3, 2020

Media Contacts: Robert Parker, public information officer, Western Region, or Breanne Forbes Hubbard, population health manager, Mount Rogers Health District,

Mount Rogers Health District Announces Positive Case of COVID-19 in Assisted Living Facility

(MARION, Virginia) – The Virginia Department of Health’s Mount Rogers Health District and English Meadows Senior Living Community, an assisted living and memory care facility in Abingdon, are working together after a resident tested positive for COVID-19. The individual is hospitalized. English Meadows had already been working on COVID-19 preparedness and visitor restrictions were already in place.

“When COVID-19 occurs in a setting where there are many older people with underlying health conditions, we are concerned,” said Health Director Dr. Karen Shelton. “We’ll be working very closely with the facility over the coming days to protect other residents and staff and prevent further spread. Working in partnership with the facility management, Mount Rogers Health District is investigating potential sources of exposure and will continue working in conjunction with English Meadows to provide guidance on infection control.”

Governor Northam has banned social gatherings of more than 10 individuals. Everyone should stay at home except for essential reasons outlined in Executive Order 55. “We all have a responsibility and duty to take this seriously and do everything we can to protect ourselves and those around us,” said Dr. Shelton.

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 shortness of breath. 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. “If someone feels they need to be tested for COVID-19, it is critical that they call their health care provider before arriving to ensure that the appropriate protection is used,” urged Dr. Shelton.

To lower the risk of respiratory germ spread, including COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health encourages the following effective behaviors:

  • Avoid close contact with crowds of any size, and avoid any crowd of 10 or more.
  • Stay home as much as possible, except for essential travel.
  • 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.

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