Peninsula Health District Confirms Two Positive Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

March 12, 2020

Media Contact: Irene Ferrainolo,

Peninsula Health District Confirms Two Positive Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

(Newport News, VA.) – The Peninsula Health District announced that two residents have tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These cases mark the first two cases in the Peninsula Health District. It is believed that these cases were related to international travel and were not acquired through local community spread. The Peninsula Health District is currently conducting a thorough investigation of these cases and any potential exposures.

“Given the nature of the current outbreak, discovering COVID-19 in our community does not come as a surprise and we expect to see more cases in the coming weeks. Fortunately, at this time we have not seen community-wide spread of the virus,” said Peninsula Health District Director Dr. Thomas Franck. The health department continues to conduct surveillance and investigation of any future potential cases. This is a continually evolving situation in Virginia and nationwide, and the Health Department will continue to keep people informed.

Most patients with COVID-19 have only mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe symptoms, 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 spreading respiratory infections, including COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health encourages the following effective behaviors:

  • 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.

This is a rapidly changing situation, and information is being shared as it becomes available on the following websites: or Please consult 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.