RICHMOND, Va. -- New federal data show about 60,000 additional Virginia workers applied for unemployment benefits last week.
That figure has declined for four straight weeks but is still far higher than before the coronavirus led to widespread business closures.
The Virginia Employment Commission said in a news release Thursday that while “the volume of initial claims has retreated from its recent peak, it may not return to pre-pandemic levels for some time.”
Roughly 33.5 million people across the U.S. and about 630,000 in Virginia have filed in the seven weeks since the coronavirus began forcing millions of companies to close their doors and slash their workforces.
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.