Virginia not at point to do community wide coronavirus testing

Posted at 6:08 AM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 09:33:59-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Right now there are over 50 cases of the coronavirus in the state of Virginia and just this week, a second coronavirus death was reported in the Peninsula Health District.

News 3 learned that the victim who died on Monday was a man who was in his 70s that previously tested positive for the coronavirus. He contracted the virus from an unknown source, reports say.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria was at Riverside Regional Medical Center Tuesday morning where she will discussed how the Peninsula Health District will be taking on the pandemic.

Virginia Delegate Shelly Simonds was also there, she is a Democrat from the 94th district in Newport News and added that not everyone should expect a coronavirus test. She said there are a limited number of tests in Virginia so we are not at the point to do community wide testing. People who have had close contact with patients that have been diagnosed are getting tested.

State leaders said the peninsula is now a hotspot for the coronavirus. Congresswoman Luria met with medical officials from both the peninsula health district and the riverside health system. She spoke about Hampton Roads’ response to the coronavirus outbreak and the many challenges healthcare workers are facing during this challenging time.

Riverside Health System also offers a coronavirus symptom checker and a hotline number to help with medical efforts. The number to call for information assistance is 595-6363.

You can see a full list of Riverside Health System visitor guidelines at this link.

On Monday, Luria was in Virginia Beach, where she discussed how Sentara hospitals would respond to the coronavirus. Luria helped announce Sentara Medical's opening of three drive-thru coronavirus testing sites.

Health officials say there are currently 11 cases in the Peninsula Health District, including 10 cases in James City County and one in York County.

Health officials say we need to just do the basics:

  • 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. And of course - stay home when you are sick.

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