March 20, 2020
Media Contact: Chris Garrett, email@example.com
Southside Health District Confirms First Case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
The Southside Health District announced today its first COVID-19 case in the district. The resident of Mecklenburg is a male in his 50’s who had contact with a person in another part of Virginia who was diagnosed with COVID-19. The individual is isolated at home and monitoring his health. To protect patient privacy, no further information about the patient will be provided.
“The Virginia Department of Health, hospitals, and health care providers continue to work together to identify COVID-19 cases in the community and across the Commonwealth,” said Southside Health District Director Dr. Scott Spillmann. “The health district is investigating this case and will identify and reach out to any close contacts of this resident who would require testing or monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.
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, 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.
- 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.
- Avoid crowds of more than ten people.
NOTE: This case will be added to the statewide count on the VDH website. Cases are updated each day at noon at www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus, with the numbers as of 5 p.m. the evening before.