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By: Dylan Lepore | firstname.lastname@example.org
A Radford University student has tested positive for COVID-19, announced Tuesday by The New River Health District.
The patient is a woman in her 20’s and is currently self-isolating, with no known exposures to the public, according to The Virginia Department of Health (VDH).
Radford University sent out an email mid-afternoon on Tuesday confirming the patient is a student.
“We’ve been preparing for this news for more than two weeks,” said Noelle Bissell, M.D., director, New River Health District. “The Virginia Department of Health and our partners in health and public safety have been in constant contact to develop effective measures to keep New River Valley residents safe and well. Now, more than ever, it’s important for everyone to practice personal public health precautions, primarily for hand and surface hygiene and social distancing. These are the most effective ways to minimize the spread of illness and keep yourself and those around you well.”
As of Tuesday, 4,470 people have been tested in Virginia to see if they have COVID-19. Thursday, March 19, 1,923 were checked, and only 489 were tested on Monday, March 16.
There are currently 290 cases in Virginia, and the number is expected to rise.
“For each confirmed case of any communicable illness that is required to be reported, the VDH identifies potential contacts, assesses their risk of exposure, and recommends appropriate public health and medical measures,” said Dr. Bissell.
Here is the situation summary developed by the VDH:
- The Virginia Department of Health is responding to the outbreak of respiratory illness, called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), that is caused by a novel (new) coronavirus.
- The outbreak was first detected in China in December 2019.
- On March 7, 2020, the first case of COVID-19 in Virginia was announced.
- COVID-19 has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally.
- On March 11, the World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic.
- On March 12, Governor Northam declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
- Per a public health emergency order issued by Governor Northam and State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, restaurants, fitness centers, and theaters statewide are mandated to significantly reduce their capacity to 10 patrons, or close. Restaurants may continue carry-out and takeaway options.
- Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order 53 that orders the closure of certain non-essential businesses, bans all gatherings of more than 10 people, and closes all K-12 schools for the remainder of the academic year. Governor Northam is also urging all Virginians to avoid non-essential travel outside the home, if and when possible. This order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, and will remain in place until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 23. The full text of the order can be found here, and additional guidance and a Frequently Asked Questions guide can be found here.