RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — There are now 30 cases of COVID-19 in Virginia, nearly double the official count just a day ago, the Virginia Department of Health says.
Five of the new cases are in James City County, where schools will be closed for two weeks, from March 16-27 due to the outbreak. The number of cases in Virginia Beach has stayed the same at 2. No other cases have been reported in the Tidewater area outside of James City County and Virginia Beach.
The Peninsula Health District said Friday afternoon four of the five new cases are contacts of the original two cases.
The fifth case “has an unknown exposure” and the health department is working to find where he got the virus.
“These five new cases make this a community outbreak of COVID-19,” said Peninsula Health District Director Dr. Thomas Franck. “The fact that one of these cases has an unknown exposure is concerning and is suspicious for community spread.”
The Peninsula Health District has activated its incident management team and is “deploying all necessary resources in an attempt to contain this outbreak.”
The latest update on the Virginia Department of Health’s website came at noon on Friday, shortly after Governor Ralph Northam said there were 29 cases in the commonwealth.
The latest statewide count comes a day after Northam declared a state of emergency for Virginia in response to the outbreak. At the time of the emergency announcement Thursday afternoon, Virginia had 17 official cases.
Virginia’s first case was reported Saturday and the VDH website still lists 0 deaths and 10 hospitalizations, which is up from 6.
On Thursday, VDH said 2 people in Williamsburg had tested positive for the virus, joining a Virginia Beach couple as the only 4 confirmed cases in the Hampton Roads area.
In Hampton Roads, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth and Suffolk have declared a local state of emergency as of Friday.
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