Norfolk Health District confirms first case of coronavirus

Posted at 3:26 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 23:04:16-04

NORFOLK, Va.  — The Norfolk Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that one person has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

This is the first confirmed case in the Norfolk Health District.

The patient, a man in his 50s, self-isolated once he began experiencing symptoms. Health officials say he likely got the virus from close contact with a confirmed case while traveling outside of Virginia.

There is no evidence of community transmission in Norfolk at this time, the health department says.

“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.”

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.

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

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