NEWS RELEASE: Roanoke, Va. (Thursday, March 19, 2020) – Carilion Clinic announced today that a resident from southwest Virginia has tested positive for COVID-19.
The positive case is an elderly patient who resides within the Alleghany Health District. The patient was admitted to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital on Monday, March 16, exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and was tested. The patient was placed in a COVID-19 isolation unit. Results were received from a commercial testing lab March 19 and immediately shared with the Virginia Department of Health. VDH is overseeing the investigation to trace relevant patient contacts. The patient is in serious condition.
While treating the patient, Carilion’s infection prevention team followed all appropriate protocols to ensure that our staff and visitors remained safe.
As of March 19, Carilion Clinic had tested 172 patients for COVID-19, with 69 negative results and one positive. Carilion is awaiting results for remaining 102.
Most patients with COVID-19 have only mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe symptoms, 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 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.
This is a rapidly changing situation, and information is being shared as it becomes available on the following websites: www.carilionclinic.org/coronavirus, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/. Please consult www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus for the latest number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Health has also activated a public information line, 877-ASK-VDH3, for questions from residents about the novel coronavirus situation.