The Arlington Health District is reporting its first two deaths related to COVID-19. The first patient was a 72-year-old with chronic medical conditions, who had been ill with COVID-19 for a few weeks. The second was a 60-year-old with chronic medical conditions, identified with COVID-19 this past week. The close contacts of both patients have been identified.
“We are saddened by the deaths of two Arlington County residents related to COVID-19. Our hearts go out to their loved ones,” said Arlington Health District Director Dr. Reuben Varghese. “These deaths, along with the increasing numbers of coronavirus cases we are seeing in the region, are a reminder that we all must be vigilant to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The health of our residents is our top priority and we know our residents and our community share that priority. We ask that everyone do their part to prevent germ spread: practice social distancing, wash your hands, and cover your coughs and sneezes.”
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness. 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 decrease the potential for the virus to spread, the Arlington Health District recommends:
- Avoid non-essential travel and public gatherings, especially if you are an individual who is at increased risk for severe illness, including pregnant women, older adults and person of any age with underlying health conditions.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when you cough or sneeze. Immediately wash your hands if you used a tissue.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces with an EPA approved agent effective against human coronaviruses and flu.
- Practice social distancing by staying six feet or more away from others.
- If you are mildly sick with a fever, stay home. If you need medical care, call your healthcare provider prior to going to their office. If it is an emergency, as always, call 911 immediately.
This is a rapidly changing situation, and information is being shared as it becomes available on the following websites: