Radford, Bedford and Nelson County see first confirmed cases of coronavirus

The Central Virginia Health District reports two new cases of coronavirus in Bedford County.

One was acquired through travel within the US, while the other was acquired through community transmission. CVHD staff will notify anyone who may have been exposed. Neither patient required hospitalization.

The Thomas Jefferson Health District has confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Nelson County.

As of March 24, TJHD has 14 lab confirmed ("presumptive positive") COVID-19 cases and 2 clinically diagnosed cases.

Clinically diagnosed cases are people who are not tested because they are very close contacts to someone who is lab-confirmed COVID-19-positive and are experiencing symptoms. Due to their level of exposure and symptoms, the Health Department considers them positive without a COVID-19 lab test. For example, a clinically diagnosed case could be the spouse of a lab confirmed COVID-19 case.

In that district, Charlottesville has three cases, Albemarle six, Louisa three and Fluvanna one, in addition to the Nelson case, which is not yet reflected on the Virginia Department of Health page, on which numbers are only updated once a day.

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The New River Health District has announced its first confirmed case of COVID-19/coronavirus in a resident of the district.

The patient is a woman in her 20s who lives in Radford. She is self-isolating, with no known exposures to the public, according to the VDH. Radford University sent an email to its community, informing them the patient is a student.

“We’ve been preparing for this news for more than two weeks,” said Noelle Bissell, M.D., director, New River Health District. “The Virginia Department of Health and our partners in health and public safety have been in constant contact to develop effective measures to keep New River Valley residents safe and well. Now, more than ever, it’s important for everyone to practice personal public health precautions, primarily for hand and surface hygiene and social distancing. These are the most effective ways to minimize the spread of illness and keep yourself and those around you well.”

“For each confirmed case of any communicable illness that is required to be reported, the VDH identifies potential contacts, assesses their risk of exposure and recommends appropriate public health and medical measures,” said Dr. Bissell.

In a release from the city of Radford, residents were reminded to avoid gatherings of more than 10 and to practice social distancing when shopping, getting gas and carrying out other essential tasks.

Radford City Mayor David Horton said, “From the beginning of the COVID 19 situation we have known that it would only be a matter of time before a case was confirmed in the City of Radford. We received word of that today. Our New River Health Officials have been on a high alert for weeks and are responding appropriately as is our community. We will continue to share facts and resources with Radford citizens to help them make good choices and protect themselves and their families. We wish the patient a swift and full recovery.”

City Manager David Ridpath said, “As a community, commonwealth and country, we need resolve and compassion. Take care of your family and look out for your neighbors who may need extra assistance. Together, we will be far more successful than we could ever be alone. The City is using all available resources, as well as advisories during this
unprecedented time.”

Radford City officials will continue to monitor the virus and make regular contact with regional officials and the VDH.

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