Coronavirus - Northam

DANIEL SANGJIB MIN/RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH

State Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver provides updates on COVID-19 as Gov. Ralph Northam looks on in Richmond on Sunday.

CHARLOTTESVILLE — A resident of Charlottesville has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, officials with the Thomas Jefferson Health District announced Monday. 

The diagnosis marks the first case of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, in the district, according to a news release.  

The positive case is an individual in their late 50s and the case appears to be travel-related, a news release said. The patient was tested for the novel coronavirus by a commercial lab.

“The situation with COVID-19 outbreak is rapidly changing, so it is not surprising that we are identifying a case in our area,” said Thomas Jefferson Health District Director Dr. Denise Bonds in the release. "Public health officials 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.

According to the release, 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, the release said.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, people should stay home as much as possible.

Please consult www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus for the latest number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia.

The Thomas Jefferson Health District has also activated a public information line, (434) 972-6261, for questions from community members about the novel coronavirus situation.

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