Second coronavirus case reported in Central Virginia, 17 statewide

Posted at 12:22 PM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 18:14:26-04

RICHMOND, Va. – At least 17 people have tested presumptive positive for the coronavirus in Virginia, according to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

At least one of the latest cases is from the Central region of the state, which now has two cases.

No additional details about the latest case have been released.

On Wednesday evening, Longwood University announced a student there tested positive for the coronavirus after being tested by the state health department.

The university said that the student was briefly on campus after the school's spring break last week.

Longwood said the health department believes there is “a low generalized risk to our community."

Wednesday afternoon, it was announced a Hanover teenager tested positive. The teen, who does not attend school, is “doing well” and is self-isolating at home, according to the Chickahominy Health District.

In an update to lawmakers Thursday, State epidemiologist Dr. Lilian Peake said the state lab has capacity for between 500-600 tests.

She went on to says that the current cases are coming from areas where they know the virus is spreading, but those people are then spreading it to their household and close contacts.

Governor Ralph Northam held a press conference at Thursday afternoon to update the Commonwealth's preparedness and response.

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.