March 6, 2020 Update - 10:30 a.m.
This update on COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, is being provided by a coalition of metro-Richmond localities: Chesterfield, Henrico, Richmond, Hanover and Goochland, along with the Central Virginia Healthcare Coalition.
Local governments remain concerned about the spread of COVID-19. This week, regional cooperation and precautionary planning took a new step forward as more than 50 emergency managers, first responders, health experts and public information professionals met to review roles and responsibilities. Leaders of the participating localities have authorized the activation of the Central Virginia All-Hazards Incident Management Team to help guide the region’s preparations for, and response to, a potential local occurrence of COVID-19.
As a region, we are committed to working with our state and local partners to safeguard our residents and make sure we share the most current information available. As of this writing, Virginia has zero confirmed cases of COVID-19. The immediate health risk to Virginians is considered to be low at the current time.
Health experts say people of all ages are susceptible to the novel coronavirus. It causes mild illness in most people, though it can cause severe illness in some, including older people and those with preexisting medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes.
For now, the region’s health experts and emergency managers agree on some simple steps you can take to slow the spread of the virus:
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Put your used tissue in a wastebasket, then wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hand.
Stay home if you feel sick.
If you have a fever, stay home until you are fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
Avoid close contact with others and seek medical treatment if necessary.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
The Virginia Department of Health has been monitoring this outbreak closely since mid-January, and many of its communicable disease epidemiologists, all of its emergency preparedness staff and others are spending the majority of their time on the COVID-19 response. They are in regular communication with local health districts, governments, school divisions, other states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other partners.
While this situation is changing regularly, the region will continue to work together to ensure the safety and health of its citizens. Together, we can work to keep our region as safe and healthy as possible.
March 3, 2020 Update - 9:50 a.m.
The recent media attention surrounding the coronavirus, or COVID-19, has created some concern within our community. Chesterfield is working with our state and regional partners to closely monitor the potential impact locally and make sure our residents, businesses and visitors are aware of the latest information.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that was first detected in China and has now been detected in 60 locations internationally, including the United States. The symptoms may appear 2 – 14 days after exposure and may include a fever, cough and shortness of breath. At this time, the Virginia Department of Health has reported no confirmed cases in Virginia and the immediate health risk from the virus is considered low.
While the media attention has been primarily focused on COVID-19, the health risks associated with any respiratory illness should not be forgotten. It’s still flu season and many of the recommended protocols to prevent the spread of the flu also helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For the latest information on COVID-19, visit the VDH or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.