Williamsburg Mayor responds after first coronavirus death on Peninsula

Posted at 3:28 PM, Mar 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 13:59:25-04

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Williamsburg Mayor Paul Freiling responds to the eight confirmed cases of coronavirus on the Peninsula after one person died from the virus on Saturday.

Mayor Paul Freiling spoke with News 3 regarding the city's measures being taken to protect residents from the virus.

"My message to the entire Peninsula is that we need to take this situation very seriously. There are some who feel there is a bit of a Chicken Little effect going on, but I can not emphasize enough the importance of following the guidelines set forth by the state and your local municipality in order to protect yourselves, your families, your neighbors and your entire community," Mayor Freiling says.

The mayor drilled the importance of following protocol as the infection rate rises. He says that he does not expect residents of the Peninsula to not grocery shop or handle the daily necessities of life, however he says to lower the risks of exposure, utilize grocery store pick up services and to-go services from restaurants.

While the virus is reported to affect people older in age, according to the Virginia Department of Health, Mayor Frriling says it is important for younger people to take the virus seriously as well.

"One of the things I’ve seen is a tendency in younger, healthy people to think this virus is not going to impact me and if I do contract it it will be mild. That is what overwhelms our healthcare systems," Mayor Freiling tells News 3.

The mayor says the Peninsula will still provide police protection around the cities, just less face to face interaction.

Stay with News 3 for your latest coronavirus updates.