RICHMOND, Va. --- The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced Monday night that two Virginia residents in two different parts of the state have tested positive for COVID-19.
The cases in Fairfax county and Spotsylvania County mark the fourth and fifth positive test results in the state. The test results have been sent to the CDC to confirm.
The fourth case is a woman in Fairfax who is the spouse of a person who tested positive on March 7. When she developed minor respiratory illness symptoms, the Health Department determined that testing was warranted and specimens were sent to the Virginia state laboratory on March 8.
The resident is currently doing well but was hospitalized while testing was completed.
The fifth presumptive positive case is a resident of Spotsylvania County in their 50s who developed fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
The case was brought to the attention of the Rappahannock Area Health District, and tested positive for the novel coronavirus after a test was done by the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) in Richmond.
“We are working closely with our health care partners and the state to monitor the patient and identify and work with their close contacts,” said Rappahannock Area Health Director Brooke Rossheim, MD, MPH.
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness. In a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can cause death, particularly among those who are older or who have chronic medical conditions. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person. COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Virginia health officials reminds individuals to take 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.