CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – Four residents of a Midlothian assisted living facility have tested positive for COVID-19.
Spring Arbor of Salisbury confirmed the positive tests to CBS 6 Friday, but did not release additional information about the patients and their conditions at this time.
“Our team is working closely with the Chesterfield County Health Department and continues to enforce strict procedures at the community in coordination with the Health Department,” said Rich Williams, Spring Arbor Senior Living Senior Vice President.
Among the procedures, officials say they are monitoring residents daily by taking temperatures and listening to lung sounds and suspending communal dining at the facility.
A Facebook post on March 17 showed the facility began restricting visitors, and limiting visits to those medically necessary and for compassionate/end of life situations.
In a press conference by phone Friday, Chesterfield Health District Director Dr. Alexander Samuel confirmed other assisted living facilities in the district have patients diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, but wouldn't name the locations.
"Facility leadership is working closely with health department staff to address this issue. In order to protect the identity of patients, no additional information can be released at this time," Samuel said.
The Midlothian facility says they have also taken the following safety measures:
• Directing any staff who may be sick to stay home and making health checks on all staff upon arrival each day.
• Communicating with personal physicians of residents.
• Heightening cleaning and infection control practices including disinfecting and closing off areas as necessary.
• Limiting activities to one-on-one contact.
• Regularly monitoring communications and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, World Health Organization (WHO), and our state and local departments of public health.
As of Friday, there were 93 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the health district: 89 cases in Chesterfield, 4 cases in Powhatan, and none in Colonial Heights.
Two people have died from the coronavirus in the health district including a man in his 60's and a woman in her 40's. Samuel said the woman died in route to the hospital on March 31 and couldn't specify which county the victims lived.
None of the individuals who died lived in nursing homes or longterm care facilities.
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.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- 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.Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.