ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville and Albemarle County have both issued declarations of local emergency.
The city and county made their announcements Thursday, March 12, and follows Governor Ralph Northam’s State Declaration of Emergency that was made earlier in the day. The declaration allows localities to access resources during a public health crisis, such as COVID-19, also called the coronavirus.
A person in Harrisonburg has tested “presumptive positive” for COVID-19, and is currently being treated at Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital.
The Central Shenandoah Health District issued a press release, stating in part, “The positive case is a person in their 60s. The resident developed upper respiratory symptoms that progressed over a few days to a pneumonia with high fever. The patient was tested for the novel coronavirus by a commercial lab. The patient is currently doing well and is in isolation.”
This latest case brings the current total to 18 in the commonwealth, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
Harrisonburg says it is working closely with federal and state officials to monitor the situation.
There are no confirmed cases at this time in Charlottesville or Albemarle County.
03/12/2020 Release from Charlottesville:
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Charlottesville City Council has passed a resolution authorizing a local state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 Virus effective Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
City Manager and Director of Emergency Management Dr. Tarron Richardson and Fire Chief Andrew Baxter believe that the threat to public health and safety posed by and resulting from the COVID-19 virus is of sufficient severity and magnitude to be an emergency as defined by Virginia Code Section 44-146.16. The Governor of Virginia declared a State of Emergency on March 12, 2020 to prepare and coordinate Virginia’s response to the potential spread of COVID-19.
The declaration activates the Regional Emergency Operations Plan to support coordination of information and resources between the City of Charlottesville, the University of Virginia, and Albemarle County. The Regional Emergency Operations Center will to serve as a link to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management if it should become necessary to access state resources.
At this time, there are no cases reported in our community by Virginia Department of Health. As the Thomas Jefferson Health District makes additional information available, the City of Charlottesville will share any additional precautionary measures with the community through media releases, our website, and via social media.
03/12/2020 Release from Albemarle County:
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, VA - Albemarle County Executive Jeff Richardson has issued a Declaration of Local Emergency in response to the COVID-19 Virus, effective Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 5:00 pm. This declaration follows Governor Northam’s State Declaration of Emergency. A local declaration allows our community to access resources during a public health crisis, such as this.
At this time, there are no cases reported in our community by Virginia Department of Health. For the most current information about Coronavirus, visit http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronavirus/.
03/12/2020 Release from City of Harrisonburg:
HARRISONBURG, Va. – The City of Harrisonburg and all departments are closely monitoring the latest information and recommendations concerning the coronavirus, or COVID-19, following a presumptive positive test in our community confirmed by the Virginia Department of Health late this afternoon.
We are working closely with regional and national health experts in monitoring the situation, and have put all city protocols related to the prevention of the spread of communicable diseases into action. This includes reassessing some community events and activities.
We are in daily contact with the Virginia Department of Health, which is providing guidance on this matter.
We encourage all residents to follow Virginia Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control guidelines regarding prevention, and to follow only trust sources for future updates and information on this matter. More information regarding the coronavirus and helpful links is available at the city’s website.
03/12/2020 Release from the Central Shenandoah Health District:
(Staunton, VA.) – The Central Shenandoah Health District announced that a resident has tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This case marks the first case in the Central Shenandoah Health District.
“The situation with COVID-19 outbreak is rapidly changing, so it is not surprising that we are identifying a case in our area,” said Central Shenandoah Health District Director Dr. Laura Kornegay. Public health will work to isolate the patient and to investigate all people who had close contact with the patient. Contacts will be asked to stay home away from others for 14 days.
The positive case is a person in their 60s. The resident developed upper respiratory symptoms that progressed over a few days to a pneumonia with high fever. The patient was tested for the novel coronavirus by a commercial lab. The patient is currently doing well and is in isolation. The patient is a resident of the city of Harrisonburg.
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. 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.
To lower the risk of respiratory germ spread, including COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health encourages the following effective behaviors:
- 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.
The Virginia Department of Health has also activated a public information line, 877-ASK-VDH3, for questions from residents about the novel coronavirus situation.