Southside Health District Confirms its First COVID-19 Death

April 11, 2020

Media Contact: Lorrie Andrew-Spear,

Southside Health District Confirms its First COVID-19 Death

Today, the Southside Health District is reporting that a resident of the district who was ill with COVID-19 has died. No additional information is being provided about this individual. This marks the first COVID-19 related death in the Southside Health District.

“We are truly saddened to learn of the death of a member of our community, and we extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the patient,” said Southside Health District Director Dr. Scott Spillmann. “Unfortunately, those over 65 and those with underlying health conditions are at greater risk of serious complications from COVID-19. We remind everyone that the precautions we take now to keep ourselves healthy will also limit the spread of the virus across the community.”

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. In some patients, COVID-19 can cause complications, including death, particularly among those who are older or who have chronic medical conditions. 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:

  • Stay home as much as possible, especially when you are sick.
  • If you must go out, practice social distancing by staying 6 feet or more away from others and wearing a cloth face covering.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • 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.
  • Elderly and those at-risk should stay at home as much as possible; if not possible, avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.

Information is being shared as it becomes available on the following websites: or

Note: This fatality is not included in the statewide count at, which is updated daily with data from the evening before.