Gov. Ralph Northam at coronavirus press briefing

Gov. Ralph Northam speaks at a coronavirus press conference in Richmond on Wednesday, March 25.

The coronavirus pandemic claimed at least three more Virginians Wednesday, bringing the overall number of COVID-19 deaths in the commonwealth to at least 12. 

Recent deaths included two elderly residents of the Canterbury Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, a nursing home in Henrico County where 14 patients and three staff members have tested positive for the virus, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The two Canterbury residents died Tuesday. A third death was reported there late Wednesday afternoon. The third person's death was not included in the 12 total fatalities state officials reported during a 2 p.m. Wednesday press briefing.

Two Canterbury patients were still hospitalized Wednesday, and nine others were receiving treatment in an isolated unit at the nursing facility, the Times-Dispatch reported.

During Wednesday's briefing, Virginia Epidemiologist Dr. Lilian Peak said officials are trying to learn more about how COVID-19 spread at the Canterbury facility.

Peak said other Virginia nursing homes have also reported cases of COVID-19, but she did not share which nursing homes or where they are located. 

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday he signed an executive order directing the state’s health care facilities to postpone elective surgeries amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Northam said the move is an effort to reserve and build capacity in its hospitals as Virginia enters a phase of “community spread” of the coronavirus.

“It’s also quite clear we have community spread now. That’s quite obvious,” Northam said.

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