Virginia health leaders announce first Coronavirus death out of Newport News area

Southwest Virginia still has 0 cases


Coronavirus has caused its first death in the Commonwealth.

Around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, the Virginia Department of Health announced a 70-year-old man died as a result of respiratory failure from COVID-19. It said the man acquired the virus through an unknown source.

He was from the peninsula health district which covers Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg, James City County and York County.

Earlier Saturday, VDH announced 11 new cases of Coronavirus, bringing the total to 41 “presumptively positive” cases of the coronavirus in Virginia as of March 14.

That 11 is an increase from the 30 reported Friday evening. There are still zero cases in Southwest Virginia.

Governor Ralph Northam expressed his condolences and sadness following the death, reminding people it’s up to them to help prevent the spread.

“Again, I urge Virginians: take this seriously. Take basic health precautions, avoid large gatherings, telework if possible, and stay home if you are sick. That will stop the virus from spreading," Northam said. “It is all of our responsibility, yours and mine, to keep each other safe and healthy."

“The health of Virginians and our communities is my most important priority right now. As a Commonwealth, we have taken major, critical steps to stop the spread of COVID- 19. I have declared a state of emergency, closed K-12 schools across the state, restricted visitors at nursing homes and correctional facilities, limited state employee travel, and canceled large events,” Northam said.

[Where are Virginia’s coronavirus cases? The latest from the health department]

[Interactive map from Johns Hopkins shows how coronavirus is spreading in real-time]

These cases are “presumptively positive,” meaning they are pending confirmatory testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

10 News will update this article with more information as soon as we have it.