Staff Report —
Two more Eastern Shore residents have died from COVID-19, according to the Eastern Shore Health District.
The health district Wednesday announced the death of a man in his 50s and a woman in her 50s.
“We are incredibly sad to hear of the passing of two members of our Eastern Shore family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families,” said Chief Operating Officer Jon Richardson. “We have seen a significant increase in our case count over the past week. Many of those cases are associated with outbreaks which are currently under investigation,” he said.
The announcement brings the total to three known deaths from the virus on the Shore.
The health district on April 8 reported the first COVID-related death on the Shore, of a woman in her 70s.
As of Thursday, Accomack County had 76 confirmed cases, with 17 hospitalized, and Northampton County had 12 cases, with one hospitalized, according the the Virginia Department of Health.
There have been 339 test results on the Easten Shore.
Of 168 total outbreaks in Virginia, the Eastern Shore now has four, according to the state health department.
Three outbreaks are in congregate settings and one is in a long-term care facility.
An outbreak is defined as two lab-confirmed positive cases, not residing in the same household, linked together by person, place or time, according to Richardson.
Heritage Hall in Nasswadox had two employees test positive for the virus, according to a report Wednesday on WESR.
“There are no cases inside the building, to our knowledge,” said Jennifer Eddy, spokeswoman for American Healthcare, Heritage Hall’s parent company.
Eddy said at the time the employees who have tested positive last worked, which was as recently as last week, employees were screened for COVID-19 indicators, both when they entered the building and when they left.
“At that time, they passed all of those tests, both on entry and at the end of their last shift…but we did receive word this morning from the health department that there were two positive tests that came through late last night, early morning timeframe,” she said in an interview with WESR.
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. In a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can cause complications, including death, particularly among those who are older or who have chronic medical conditions.
Symptoms appear within 14 days after exposure to an infectious person.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
The Eastern Shore Health District has activated a public information line, 757-787-5880, for questions from residents about the novel coronavirus situation.
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 and avoid contact with sick people
Wearing a non-surgical mask could help prevent a sick person, exhibiting no symptoms, from accidentally infecting others.
Avoid non-essential travel.
Everyone should stay home.
Information is being shared as it becomes available on the following websites: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus or www.vdh.virgina.gov/coronavirus/. Please consult www.vdh.virgina.gov/coronavirus for the latest number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia.