The Eastern Shore Health District announced that a resident of the Eastern Shore has tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This case marks the first known case in the Eastern Shore Health District. It is believed that this case was travel related and was not acquired through local community spread. The Eastern Shore Health District is currently conducting a thorough investigation of the case and any potential exposures.
According to Jon Richardson, Chief Operating Officer of the Eastern Shore Health District, the case is a person in Accomack County and the person is self-quarantining:
“We are not surprised to see our first positive COVID-19 case in the District. This reinforces the significant importance of social distancing,” said Eastern Shore Health District Director Dr. Richard Williams. 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 the Eastern Shore Health District will continue to keep people informed.
According to the Virginia Department of Health, Virginia now has 94 confirmed cases, but the website does not show this confirmed case on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. There are still only two deaths in Virginia from the coronavirus.
Most patients with COVID-19 have only mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe symptoms, 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, the Virginia Department of Health encourages the following effective behaviors:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Practice social distancing. Maintain at least 6 feet of space between yourself and other individuals when out in public.
- 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.
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.virginia.gov/coronavirus/. Please consult www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus for the latest number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia.
Residents should call 757-787-5880 with questions about the novel coronavirus situation.