Number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia rises to 45

Presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in Virginia as of March 25, 2020.
Presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in Virginia as of March 25, 2020.(WHSV)
Published: Mar. 14, 2020 at 12:29 PM EDT
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As of Sunday, forty-five patients have tested "presumptive positive" or positive for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Health updates its total number of cases once per day, around noon. On Saturday, the total rose to 41 cases, up from 30 on Friday, 17 cases on Thursday and 9 cases on Wednesday.

The total reported by VDH includes both presumptive positive cases – COVID-19 tests that came back positive either at the Virginia state lab or commercial labs but haven't yet been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – and confirmed positive cases, which have been confirmed by the CDC.

Recent days have brought increased coronavirus testing capacity for Virginia, with the state lab in Richmond receiving more testing kits and many hospitals, including Sentara RMH, gaining access to testing through commercial labs. That means more reported cases were expected as more people gained the ability to be tested.

On Thursday, the first positive test was

for a Harrisonburg patient that had been hospitalized at Sentara RMH after developing pneumonia-like symptoms

On Friday, as city and county officials across central Virginia

to facilitate local response to the virus pandemic, Gov. Ralph Northam's staff confirmed that cases throughout the commonwealth of Virginia had risen to 30.

Officials said then that they expected the cases to continue to rise sharply, but Northam said the pandemic will not cripple the commonwealth.

On Saturday, the

was updated to show Virginia's 41 presumptive positive cases.

As of Friday, the VDH also listed the total number of hospitalizations among the cases at 10. On Saturday, the updated case total graphic no longer listed the number of hospitalizations, but it listed that Virginia has tested 395 people in total.

The VDH provided the following breakdown of locations for all 41 cases reported as of Saturday: 10 in Fairfax County, 8 in James City County, 7 in Arlington County, 5 in Loudoun County, 3 in Virginia Beach, 2 in Prince William County, 1 in Spotsylvania County, 1 in Prince Edward County, 1 in Hanover County, 1 in Chesterfield County, 1 in Alexandria, and 1 in Harrisonburg.

Later Saturday afternoon, the VDH confirmed the


On the global scale, you can find a map by Johns Hopkins University tracking worldwide confirmed numbers of cases and deaths


A few hours after the VDH update detailing 30 cases in Virginia on Friday, Gov. Northam

to prevent further spread of the virus.

What to know about COVID-19

Most people don't suffer much from COVID-19, but it can cause severe illness in the elderly and people with existing health problems.

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness. In a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can cause death, particularly among those who are older or 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 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.

• Avoid contact with sick people.

• Avoid non-essential travel.

For the latest factual information on COVID-19, you're encouraged to check both the

and the