Three Rivers Health District on March 19 announced that a pediatric resident of Gloucester has tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This case marks the first case in the Three Rivers Health District. The possibility of community spread is being investigated.
“Given the nature of the current outbreak, discovering COVID-19 in our community does not come as a surprise and we expect to see more cases in the coming weeks” said Three Rivers Health District Director Dr. Richard Williams. “The Public Health Department is in close communication with the family and health professionals involved, and is conducting a thorough investigation of potential exposures.”
The health department continues to conduct surveillance and investigation of any future potential cases. This is a continually evolving situation in Virginia and nationwide, and Three Rivers Health District will continue to keep people informed.
The patient, a child younger than age 10 was seen at a pediatric medical practice in Gloucester. The child is at home with family recovering.
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. In a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can cause complications, including death, particularly among those who are older or who have chronic medical conditions. 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.
• Avoid non-essential travel.
This is a rapidly changing situation, and information is being shared as it becomes available on the following websites: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus or www.vdh.virgina.gov/coronavirus/. Please consult www.vdh.virgina.gov/coronavirus for the latest number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia.
Three Rivers Health District has also activated a public information line, 804-313-1638, for questions from residents about the novel coronavirus situation.