TJHD: 3 additional cases of coronavirus in Charlottesville area

TJHD: 3 additional cases of coronavirus in Charlottesville area
The Virginia Department of Health’s Thomas Jefferson Health District (FILE)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Health officials say three more people in the Charlottesville area have been confirmed to have COVID-19.

The Thomas Jefferson Health District (TJHD) announced Thursday, March 19, that the area now has a total of four cases of coronavirus - one in Albemarle County and three in the city. Virginia Department of Health’s latest update puts the total number of confirmed cases in the commonwealth at 94, however it does not include the new confirmations just announced in Charlottesville area.

TJHD did not provide any additional specific information in its announcement on the three new cases. The health department is investigating each case to determine how these individuals got COVID-19, and any individuals who were potentially exposed will be contacted.

Officials say they are still investigating whether the three new cases are related to travel, close contact or community spread.

Statewide restrictions on groups of 10 or more and school systems shutting down should help prevent the spread according to the health district.

“As we continue to increase testing throughout the community, primary care providers, and our local hospitals, we anticipate that there are going to be more cases here certainly in the Charlottesville area but certainly across the state." TJHD Senior Analyst Ryan McKay said.

Anyone who may have potentially exposed to the virus will be contacted by the Thomas Jefferson Health District.

The Virginia Department of Health will update new case information on its website daily.

03/19/2020 Update from the Thomas Jefferson Health District:

  • 2 of the new cases are in the City of Charlottesville. 1 is in Albemarle County.
  • TJHD is investigating each case to determine how the individuals got COVID-19. Any individuals who were potentially exposed will be contacted.
  • Moving forward, TJHD will not be sending out press releases for new COVID-19 cases. We anticipate that there will be more and suggest people visit the VDH website daily for the latest numbers and information about cases. The VDH website is updated around Noon every day.
  • Also moving forward, TJHD will no longer do in-person media interviews. Please contact me (call/text: 434-270-4802) if you want to schedule a phone or video chat interview.

As a reminder, TJHD has set up a hotline for general information: 434-972-6261. The latest recommendations case information, and FAQs are on the VDH website: www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus

03/19/2020 Release from the Thomas Jefferson Health District:

(Charlottesville, VA.) – The Virginia Department of Health’s Thomas Jefferson Health District (TJHD) announced today an additional three COVID-19 cases in the Charlottesville area.

TJHD now has a total of four positive COVID-19 cases.

“As we continue to see new cases of COVID-19 in our community and throughout the Commonwealth, it is critical that people follow the public health guidelines on social distancing and good hygiene,” said Dr. Bonds, TJHD Health Director. “Social distancing is one of the most effective strategies in lessening the impact of this pandemic.”

People should avoid social gatherings of more than 10 individuals.

If you are 65 years or older, or if you have a serious chronic medical conditions (e.g., heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, immune compromise), you should seriously consider staying at home.

“We all have a responsibility and duty to do everything we can to protect ourselves and our community from this novel coronavirus.”

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 spreading respiratory infections, including COVID-19, TJHD encourages the following effective behaviors:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms, call your doctor.

As the COVID-19 outbreak expands, recommendations may change. TJHD is working closely with the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide the best possible guidance for the community.For general questions about COVID-19, community members may call the TJHD COVID-19 Hotline at 434-972-6261. For the latest on COVID-19, visit: www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus

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