March 23, 2020
Media Contact: Dr. Wade Kartchner, Health Director, Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District –email@example.com
Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District Confirms First Case of COVID-19 in Madison County
(Culpeper, VA.) – The Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District announced that a resident of Madison County has tested positive for novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The patient, a male in his 50s, has mild symptoms at present, and is being treated as an outpatient while isolated from the general public. He was previously identified as a close contact of a confirmed case, was quarantined prior to becoming symptomatic, and tested as soon as symptoms appeared. Health District staff will be contacting anyone identified as a close contact of this individual. Those identified will be asked to self-quarantine and monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days. To protect patient confidentiality no further information about the patient will be released.
“The Virginia Department of Health, Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District and our healthcare partners are working together around the clock to identify cases of COVID-19 in our communities across the Commonwealth,” said Dr. Wade Kartchner, RRHD Health Director. “With each confirmed case, we identify potential contacts, assess their risk of exposure and recommend appropriate public health and medical measures.”
“As we continue to see new cases of COVID-19, it is critical that people follow the public health guidelines on social distancing and good hygiene,” said Dr. Kartchner. “Social distancing is one of the most effective strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We all have a duty, and an opportunity, to do everything we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones and those around us.”
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 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, RRHD 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.
- If you are experiencing symptoms, call your doctor.
As the COVID-19 outbreak expands, recommendations may change. RRHD is working closely with the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide the best possible guidance for the community.
For general questions about COVID-19, community members may call the RRHD COVID-19 Hotline at 540-316-6302. For the latest on COVID-19, visit: www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus. This case is not yet reflected in the website dashboard, which is updated daily, with cases recorded by 5 p.m. the evening before.