Louisa County resident tests positive for COVID-19

'Individual was tested on March 19 and has been quarantined since.'
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Posted at 6:06 PM, Mar 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 18:42:01-04

LOUISA COUNTY, Va. -- Authorities said a Louisa County resident has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

"The individual was tested on March 19 and has been quarantined since that time," Louisa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert Babyok said. "The test results came back today."

Kathryn Goodman, a spokesperson for the Thomas Jefferson Health District, said the agency is investigating how the person was exposed to COVID-19. Officials are also in the process of contacting anyone who may been exposed.

County officials urged residents to follow health safety guidelines.

“It’s important that everyone continues to practice good hand hygiene, social distancing (at least 6 feet apart) and staying home as much as possible,” County Administrator Christian Goodwin said. “These strategies will best help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community.”

COVID-19 cases top 152; Virginia revises testing criteria

Virginia health officials said Saturday that 152 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 25 people remain hospitalized with the illness in the Commonwealth.

"There are 25 [cases] in the Central Region, 42 in the Eastern Region, 77 in the Northern Region, six in the Northwestern Region and two in the Southwest Region of Virginia," Virginia Department of Health Deputy Commissioner of Population Health Laurie Forlano said.

Officials said 2,790 people have been tested, which is an increase of 465 people tested for coronavirus in Virginia since Friday's update.

Forlano said Virginia has revised its COVID-19 testing requirements as "the situation has evolved."

"We're prioritizing healthcare workers and those responders who have had contact or cared for COVID-19 patients," Forlano said. "We want to make sure that they are protected, so we can ensure the continuity of care."

There is also a "priority" for healthcare facility outbreaks, Forlano said.

"The testing criteria for hospitalized individuals with more severe illness remain largely the same," Forlano said. "And the testing criteria for persons who are residing in nursing homes have been slightly relaxed to remove one testing component that previously existed -- and we hope that will relieve a barrier for testing for those individuals."

Additionally, Forlano said the state is focused on testing "clusters of respiratory illness" where the flu has been ruled as a cause of sickness.

Health officials are reporting "distinct clusters" of coronavirus cases in parts of the state.

"We have at this point distinct clusters and a few geographic areas in the state," Dr. Lilian Peake, a state epidemiologist at the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), said. "And so we are at a level where we're seeing local transmission in Virginia."

Those clusters include 20 cases in James City County, 14 in Prince William County, 22 in Arlington County and 22 in Fairfax County.

"We do not have a medicine for COVID-19. We do not have a vaccine for COVID-19," Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver said Friday "The only thing we have to prevent the spread of this disease is social distancing., so we need to all do that."

COVID-19 Safety Precautions

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.