Virginia has its third ‘presumptive positive’ case of coronavirus

An Arlington County resident in his or her 60s tested positive on Sunday evening

The person from Arlington County is in his or her 60s, developed fever, cough and shortness of breath after having returned from international travel.

ARLINGTON COUNTY, Va. – Virginia now has three ‘presumptive positive’ coronavirus cases.

The Virginia Department of Health announced on Monday that an Arlington County resident tested positive on Sunday evening.

The person is in his or her 60s, developed fever, cough and shortness of breath after having returned from international travel.

The patient is receiving medical care and is currently recuperating.

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

The test result still needs to be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control.

Virginia’s other two cases, a U.S. Marine and Fairfax City resident in his or her 80s were also exposed through international travel.

“The Virginia Department of Health, hospitals, and healthcare providers across the state have been preparing for the possibility of residents with COVID-19. We are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health departments to identify possible cases and prevent the spread of the virus,” said State Health Commissioner, M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA. “Our focus now is that the individual receive the care needed to recover, complete additional investigations, and protect the health of all Virginians.”

“We are working closely with our health care partners and the state to monitor the patient and identify and work with their close contacts,” said Arlington County Health Director Reuben K. Varghese, MD, MPH. “Confirming a case of COVID-19 in an Arlington resident does not come as a surprise given international travel from an affected area. We understand the risk of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) increases among close contacts of infected persons.”

The individual had limited contact with others while ill and the risk to the general Arlington community remains low.

The coronavirus can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness.

In a small proportion of patients, it can be deadly, particularly among those who are older or who have chronic medical conditions.

Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing and they will appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

The virus 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.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.

The Virginia Department of Health has also activated a public information line, 877-ASK-VDH, for questions from residents about the coronavirus situation.