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Posted on: March 18, 2020

Norfolk Department of Public Health Confirms First Positive Case of Coronavirus Disease 2019

This case marks the first case in the Norfolk Health District.

(Norfolk, Va.) – The Norfolk Department of Public Health announced today, one resident has tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This case marks the first case in the Norfolk Health District.

The patient, a Norfolk male in his 50s, self-isolated himself upon symptom onset. The disease was likely acquired from close contact with a confirmed case while traveling outside of Virginia. There is no evidence of community transmission in Norfolk at this time.

“As we continue to see new cases of COVID-19 in Norfolk and other cities, everyone needs to follow the public health recommendations such as social distancing,” said Norfolk Health Director Dr. Demetria Lindsay. “We all must focus on reducing transmission of the virus. Social distancing measures can help delay and slow the spread of the disease and save lives.”

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. In a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can cause complications, including death, particularly among those who are older or who have chronic medical conditions. 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 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 and avoid sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.

This is a rapidly changing situation, and information is being shared as it becomes available on the following websites: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus or http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/. Please consult http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/ for the latest number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia.

The Norfolk Department of Public Health has also activated a public information line, 757-683-2745 for questions from residents about the novel coronavirus situation.

This case is not included in today’s totals on the Virginia Department of Health’s website at: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/

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