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Virginia Department of Health shares recommendations for businesses still operating

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(MGN Image)(WLUC)
Published: Mar. 25, 2020 at 4:33 PM EDT
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With three COVID-19 cases reported in Shenandoah County and 12 total cases from Frederick County south to Rockbridge County, businesses may be left wondering how to continue operating.

The Virginia Department of Health recommends those businesses that are still open make sure they are maintaining six feet of social distancing and proper hand washing procedures.

If an employee in a workplace does test positive for coronavirus, it's up to the business as to how they should move forward with operations. They are not mandated to close, but the person who tested positive does have to self-quarantine.

"The decision to shut down would really be based on what happens with their workforce with the patient themselves being isolated and then any close contacts being in quarantine," Dr. Laura Kornegay, Health Director for the Central Shenandoah Health District said.

Close contacts are those considered to have interacted with someone less than six feet away for longer than 15 minutes and particularly in enclosed or indoor spaces. Anyone who was in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 has to self-quarantine as well to prevent further spread of the disease.

All cases are reported to the Virginia Department of Health, whether it be automatically through a state lab, or electronically or by phone for commercial and private sectors labs.

Once a case is reported, Dr. Kornegay said, there could be a delay in getting that information up on the Virginia Department of Health's website.

"And [health care professionals] are using that time to kind of quickly isolate the cases, quarantine people who were in close contact and take public health action to keep the virus from spreading," Dr. Kornegay said.

Once health care professionals have time from those public health actions, they then enter data that shows up on the site.

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