Piedmont Health District Confirms a “Presumptive Positive” Case  of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

March 12, 2020

Media Contact: Lorrie Andrew-Spear, Lorrie.Andrew-Spear@vdh.virginia.gov

Piedmont Health District Confirms a “Presumptive Positive” Case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

(Farmville, VA.) – The Piedmont Health District announced a “presumptive positive” case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This marks the first case in the Piedmont Health District.

On March 11, 2020, the district received results for a presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in a college student in the district. This student has relatively mild symptoms and is a family contact of a presumptive positive COVID-19 case from another region of Virginia. The student has been in quarantine since March 9, 2020 and had just arrived to the Longwood campus on March 8, 2020. Two students who shared the living space have been quarantined as of March 11. The University has taken aggressive, responsible measures to limit exposure to other students and staff, including canceling all classes and activities for the next week, and evaluating the logistics of conducting tele-classes for the remainder of the semester. This has been an isolated event involving a known contact of a case.

“There is no evidence of community spread either within the University community or the surrounding Farmville community,” said Piedmont Health District Director Dr. Robert Nash. “University leadership has done all appropriate measures to contain this situation and minimize contact and possible spread of this virus. Their prompt and responsible actions have appropriately responded to safeguard the community.”

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 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.