VA: 18 confirmed or presumptive cases of coronavirus reported as state of emergency declared

Published: Mar. 12, 2020 at 12:05 PM EDT
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The Virginia Department of Health is reporting 18 presumptive positive or confirmed cases of

as of Thursday evening, with one confirmed in Harrisonburg late Thursday. Two of the 18 cases are being treated in Texas.

117 possible cases have tested negative.

None has been confirmed in the southwest region, and no deaths have been reported in Virginia.

for the VDH report.

Governor Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency in response to the spreading coronavirus.

The state of emergency will help ease regulatory requirements, provide on-going support for vulnerable populations, and continue federal and multi-state coordination.

The Governor has also canceled large state events and conferences scheduled for the next 30 days.

The Governor urged localities and other organizations to limit large public events.

There will be no out-of-state work travel for state employees for the next 30 days, Northam said.

The Secretary of Administration is implementing a phased transition to teleworking for state employees.

State employees, both full-time and part-time will have access to paid Public Health Emergency Leave if they becoming exposed to COVID-19.

The state believes it has enough coronavirus testing kits and believe more will be available, however the CDC's supply chain is limited, Northam said.

The state is looking to develop its own test kits and use private labs to do more testing.

Virginia is also looking to other states and could consider "drive-thru" testing of the virus for possible patients.

The Commonwealth is also assessing the potential long-term economic impacts of the infection by coordinating with representatives from different business, trade and labor councils throughout the state.

"Our responsibility to take this seriously and do our part to help limit the spread of this disease," Northam said.

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