Fauquier County reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on Wednesday, March 25, according to Wade Kartchner, MD, MPH, health director of the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District.
A press release from the RRHD states that the patient, a man in his 20s, had recent domestic travel to an area with sustained transmission. He is being treated as an outpatient while being isolated from the general public, said the release.
Health district staff will be contacting anyone identified as a close contact of this individual. Those identified will be asked to self-quarantine and monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days.
“This is the first case detected in a Fauquier County resident, and given the recent appearance of cases in neighboring counties, comes as no surprise,” said Kartchner.
Also on Wednesday, a Fauquier Hospital spokeswoman confirmed that a person who was an outpatient at the hospital on Sunday has tested positive for COVID-19. The person received a test at the hospital on March 22 and the results were revealed on Tuesday, March 24. That Fauquier Hospital patient is not a Fauquier County resident.
Fauquier Hospital spokeswoman Sarah Cubbage said, "At this time, after a coordinated testing effort with the Virginia Department of Health, we can confirm that we have identified a patient who tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Per the health department’s recommendation, the patient, who is not a Fauquier County resident, was sent home [after having the test administered] with instructions to self-isolate."
She said that the "VDH is currently monitoring the patient and ensuring the appropriate quarantining guidelines are followed."
Kartchner emphasized, “The recommendations in place yesterday still apply today. If you are 65 years or older, or if you have a chronic medical condition such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, immune compromise, you should seriously consider staying at home. We all must do our part to protect ourselves, our neighbors, and the larger community, from this novel coronavirus. As we continue to see new cases of COVID-19, it is critical that people follow the public health guidelines on social distancing and good hygiene,” he said.
The release added that most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions. Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. To lower the risk of spreading respiratory infections, including COVID-19, RRHD encourages the following effective behaviors:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- If you are experiencing symptoms, call your doctor.
For general questions about COVID-19, community members may call the RRHD COVID-19 Hotline at 540-316-6302. For the latest on COVID-19, visit: www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus. This case is not yet reflected in the website dashboard, which is updated daily, with cases recorded by 5 p.m. the evening before.