March 26, 2020

For More Information, Contact:

Robert Parker, public information officer, Western Region,


(CHRISTIANSBURG, Virginia)  — Following yesterday’s announcement of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the New River Health District, the Montgomery County Public Health Task Force urges everyone to remain informed and help prevent the spread of the illness.

To that end, the Montgomery County Public Information Department and the health district have produced a video featuring Health Director Dr. Noelle Bissell and a podcast featuring District Epidemiologist Jason Deese, to help area residents better understand the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and how to prevent it.

To see the video, visit

To listen to the podcast, visit

NOTE: These programs are pre-recorded; some details are subject to change. For the most accurate and up-to-date information online, visit,,,, and

The New River Health District also operates a public health call center at 540-267-8240, to answer your questions about COVID-19 and other communicable illnesses. Operating hours are Monday to Friday, 8 8 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. After hours, you may leave a message and receive a return call.

“We urge everyone to continue to practice easy and effective personal public health precautions,” said Dr. Bissell. “These include hand and surface hygiene and social distancing. These are the most effective ways to minimize the spread of illness and keep yourself and those around you well.”

Recommendations from the Virginia Department of Health include:

  • 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;
  • If you are experiencing symptoms, call your doctor;
  • Practice social distancing. Maintain at least six feet of space between yourself and other individuals when out in public; and
  • Avoid crowds of more than 10 people.

Montgomery County Public Health Task Force members include the New River Health District (Virginia Department of Health), area hospitals, the Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg, Montgomery County, local law enforcement and first responder agencies, New River Valley Community Services and educational institutions.