GLOUCESTER, Va. (WAVY) — A Gloucester County child under the age of 10 has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Virginia Department of Health says.
Virginia Department of Health officials with the Three Rivers District say the child was seen at a pediatric medical practice in Gloucester and the child is now at home recovering.
The district says it’s investigating who may have been exposed to the child. This case was not included in the statewide count of confirmed cases announced Wednesday afternoon.
“Given the nature of the current outbreak, discovering COVID-19 in our community does not come as a surprise and we expect to see more cases in the coming weeks” said Three Rivers Health District Director Dr. Richard Williams. “The Public Health Department is in close communication with the family and health professionals involved, and is conducting a thorough investigation of potential exposures.”
It’s the first case in the Three Rivers Health District, which includes 10 counties stretching from Gloucester northwest to Westmoreland County.
Gloucester County sits right across the York River from the Peninsula Health District, which has the highest number of cases in Virginia (13 in James City County, 1 in Williamsburg City and 1 in York County.
World Health Organization officials say that while children appear to have less severe cases of the disease compared to adults, they’ve seen [at least one] child from coronavirus.
“We can’t say universally that it’s mild in children, so it’s important that we protect children as a vulnerable population,” Maria Van Kerkhove, the Covid-19 technical lead at the World Health Organization, said in a press conference on March 16.
Also, even if young people don’t get very sick from the virus, they can still be infected and transmit the virus to others who may be more at-risk, including the elderly.
The district has also activated a public information line, 804-313-1638, for questions residents have about the coronavirus outbreak.