ARLINGTON, Va. — The Virginia Department of Health has confirmed that 13 Arlington County residents have tested positive for coronavirus.
Department of Health officials said that the first individual is in their 60s and developed fever, cough, and shortness of breath after returning from international travel. At this time, the person is receiving medical care and is currently recuperating.
On March 12, the county announced its second presumptive positive case as an individual associated with Christ Church in Georgetown. The individual self-quarantined and when they developed symptoms they were tested for the virus, They are currently isolated at home and doing well.
"The Virginia Department of Health, hospitals, and healthcare providers across the state have been preparing for the possibility of residents with COVID-19. We are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health departments to identify possible cases and prevent the spread of the virus," State Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver said in a statement. "Our focus now is that the individual receives the care needed to recover, complete additional investigations, and protect the health of all Virginians."
According to officials, this case is one of 17 presumptive positive results in Virginia.
"We're ready to deal with whatever comes our way," health officials said. "No one should panic if folks adhere to the daily guidelines as recommended before."
Virginia health officials said in Sunday's conference that they do not recommend the closing down of certain community buildings, due to the "limited amount of exposure in the community."
Virginia currently has two kits available for coronavirus testing. Each kit can test approximately 150-200 tests and more kits are on order, said Dr. Denise Toney.
"We anticipate the access to testing will increase every day so that Virginia can eventually have more access to test whoever needs to be tested," Toney said.
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.