Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District Reports First COVID-19 Related Death

April 1, 2020

Media Contact: Dr. Wade Kartchner, Health Director, Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District –AskRRHD@vdh.virginia.gov

Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District Reports First COVID-19 Related Death

(Culpeper) – The Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District is reporting its first death of a hospitalized patient who previously tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. The patient was a woman in her 80’s with chronic medical conditions whose close contacts were previously investigated. The cause of death was respiratory failure as a result of COVID-19. No additional information is being provided about this individual.

“This is a tragic loss and our hearts go out to her family and friends,” said Dr. Wade Kartchner, Rappahannock-Rapidan Health Director. “This most recent death, along with the increasing numbers of coronavirus cases we are seeing, is a reminder that we all need to be diligent in doing our part to help slow the spread of virus in the community.

Most commonly, symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms generally appear within 14 days of being exposed to a person infected with the virus. COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

To decrease the potential for the virus to be transmitted, the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District recommends:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based sanitizer only if soap and water is not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover our mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Immediately throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces.
  • Practice social distancing by staying six feet or more away from others.
  • If you are mildly sick with a fever, stay home unless you need medical care. Call your healthcare provider prior to going to their office.
  • Avoid non-essential travel, public gatherings, particularly if you have chronic medical conditions at any age, pregnant, or are elderly.
  • Call your healthcare provider if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying condition or if you develop a fever, new or worsening cough.

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.

Note: This fatality has not yet been included in the statewide count. The count is updated daily with numbers recorded by 5 p.m. the evening before.