Arlington County is reporting its second “presumptive positive” case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The individual was associated with Christ Church in Georgetown. The individual self-quarantined and, upon development of symptoms, consulted with Arlington County Public Health who recommended testing through the state Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) in Richmond. The individual is currently doing well and is isolated at home. Arlington County Public Health is working with the individual’s close contacts and advising them as appropriate.
On Monday, March 9, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced Arlington County’s first presumptive positive case for COVID-19.
Presumptive positive means the test conducted by DCLS was positive and is pending confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As of now, the Arlington County Public Health Division’s assessment is that while there may be unmitigated or uncontained community transmission elsewhere in the U.S., based on the limited information available, there is no evidence yet of significant community transmission in the National Capital Region or Arlington.
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness. In a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can cause death, particularly among those who are older or 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.
- Avoid non-essential travel.