As number of cases rises, James City County leaders want more information

Posted at 3:53 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 17:50:09-04

JAMES CITY Co., Va. - With a cluster of cases in the county, county leaders want to receive information from the state faster.

Right now, it's taking two or three days for coronavirus test results to come back, but county leaders think it'd be helpful to know when someone is being tested.

"It's frustrating that information isn't flowing like I believe it should. I believe this is a public health crisis, and people tend to poorly react when they don't have communication," said Ruth Larson, a member of the Board of Supervisors.

County staffers briefed the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday morning about the plan to fight the spread of the virus. As of Tuesday, 12 cases have been reported in the county and two people have died on the Peninsula.

The Fire Chief says a regional operations center in Newport News has now been established for Peninsula governments. "We’re able to share a better flow of information from the Department of Health and our hospital systems," said Chief Ryan Ashe.

County leaders think the county's demographics may make the spread of the virus more likely. Six of the cases in the county are connected with a couple who had been traveling and then hanging out in groups upon return.

"We’re a community where people do travel. They do have time. They do that. They have a lot of social interactions here and they're elderly. With this virus the elderly and that travel component, I think makes us more vulnerable than maybe most," said County Administrator Scott Stevens.

And as they try to keep a handle on the virus, they say individuals will help the government with the spread. "It's going to spread. There's going to be more numbers. We need to do what we can to slow that down and the best way to do that is to stay apart from one another," said Stevens.

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