Virginia coronavirus cases near 300

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Posted at 12:38 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 12:52:22-04

RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Department of Health said Tuesday that 290 people have tested positive for COVID-19, up 36 cases from Monday.

The updated numbers includes 42 positive cases in the metro Richmond area which includes Richmond (11), Chesterfield (10), and Henrico (14).

There are now seven deaths linked to COVID-19 in Virginia after the Virginia Beach Health Department announced Monday a man in his 70s died from acute respiratory failure.

The VDH is only reporting six deaths at this time.

Health officials also announced 45 people remain hospitalized with the illness in the Commonwealth, up seven from Monday.

Officials say those numbers will continue to rise as more and more people are tested and the virus continues to spread in communities.

Because of the rising numbers, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced an sweeping executive order Monday that he hopes will slow the spread and stop the healthcare system from being overwhelmed.

Northam ordered the closing of Virginia schools for the remainder of the academic year and effective at midnight, all entertainment or recreational businesses must close.

Those rules will be in place for at least 30 days and will fall to local police and sheriffs to enforce.

Northam and other state officials will hold another briefing Tuesday at 2 p.m. You can watch that press conference here.

Stay with CBS 6 for the latest on this developing story.

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 non-essential travel.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Practice social distancing. Maintain at least six feet of space between yourself and other individuals when out in public.
  • Avoid crowds of more than ten people.