VIRGINIA, USA — According to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), a man in his 70s from James City County, Virginia has now died from the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the commonwealth. It is the first death in the state from a virus that is spread across the nation.
The death was reported in the Hampton Roads region of the state in its Peninsula Health District. This health district has reported eight cases in James City County.
In the Hampton Roads region, three more cases are also being reported in Virginia Beach.
VDH said the cause of death was respiratory failure as a result of coronavirus.
Right now there are 41 presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in Virginia, including Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties.
“On behalf of the entire Commonwealth, we express our deepest sympathy for the family and loved ones of the patient who died, as well as the families of everyone who has been affected by this outbreak,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A. “The health of our residents and the community is our top priority, and we will continue working together to care for the patients, protect the safety of health care workers, and protect the people in our Commonwealth.”
The Peninsula Health District has been working very closely to identify people who have been in potential contact with people known to have tested positive for coronavirus. This includes interviewing affected people and giving instructions on how to protect themselves and others.
To lower the risk of respiratory germ spread, including COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health 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.