RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has tested negative for COVID-19, the politician announced in a tweet Saturday evening.
However, Stoney said he planned to get retested because he joined demonstrators in a march for justice Tuesday.
"I'll be getting tested again after marching this week, and I encourage anyone who has participated in the protests to do the same," Stoney said.
I've just learned that I tested negative for COVID-19. I'll be getting tested again after marching this week, and I encourage anyone who has participated in the protests to do the same. To see your testing options, visit https://t.co/ocdzGRQdkf pic.twitter.com/eC538Tm96W— Levar M. Stoney (@LevarStoney) June 6, 2020
Stoney also urged protesters to take advantage of free community coronavirus testing during a Friday news brefing on the virus.
To register for free testing from the Richmond City Health District, call 804-205-3501.
There are also three free walk-up community testing events this week in Richmond. Click here for details.
The horrific recent events have reminded us that racism is an ever-present force in our society that is deadlier over time than the COVID-19 pandemic. As the protests continue, protect yourself and others by taking a few steps to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/V1vyQy02g0— Richmond City Health District (@RichmondCity_HD) June 4, 2020
Doctor: 'The best protection is to know'
The Capital Area Health Network hosted a pop-up testing site in Chesterfield at the Bermuda Medical Center.
"We do want to make sure people know, that as you're going out and peacefully protesting, to come get your test done, too," Capital Area Health Network Chief of Staff and Operations Dr. Shaun Dallas Dance said. 'That way you know if you are exposed to COVID-19 or whether you have it at the present time. We can prevent people from waiting for three weeks or even if you first have those symptoms. Even if you believe that you might have been exposed, because in some cases folks are asymptomatic to it. So you can come out and get tested for it, again the best protection is to know."
Another free community testing event is scheduled for Saturday, June 13 at the Greater Fulton Medical Center in Richmond. Click here to register.
COVID-19 in Richmond
More than 1,590 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Richmond, according to health department data. Sixty-five new cases were reported Saturday.
Nearly 49,400 cases of the virus have been reported in Virginia, as of Saturday's update from the Virginia Department of Health.
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.