Virginia Beach reports first coronavirus death


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Beach Health Department reported its first COVID-19 death Monday.

On Monday, the health department said a male in his 70s died after being hospitalized and testing positive for COVID-19.

The man had underlying health conditions and his cause of death was acute respiratory failure.

The health department is starting a “contact investigation.”

“At this time, it is early in the process to identify the source of transmission,” the health department wrote in a news release.

“It is a sad day in our city after learning a Virginia Beach resident has died of the virus. Our hearts go out to his family and friends,” said Virginia Beach Health Director Dr. Demetria Lindsay. “Elderly individuals and those with underlying health conditions are at greater risk of complications from COVID-19, including death. These at-risk individuals are strongly advised to take steps to minimize contact with others who are ill, practice social distancing, and stay at home as much as possible.”

The man’s death in Virginia Beach is the seventh death so far in Virginia from COVID-19. The statewide COVID-19 case tracker reports six deaths so far from coronavirus in the state, but this case won’t be added to the system until noon Tuesday, the health department said.

The man in his 70s was the 18th COVID-19 case in Virginia Beach.

That’s up from just four cases last week, though Lindsay told 10 On Your Side the increase could be due to various factors.

“It takes a little bit longer for a private lab to report out their test results than the state lab,” she said. “I have no evidence to suggest a cluster at this time.”

We’re told the age of infected patients ranges from 20-years-old to the 80s. Lindsay said some have fully recovered, some had to be hospitalized, and some are recovering at home. 

Lindsay said no matter how old you are, social distancing needs to be taken seriously. 

“Every individual who makes a choice not to follow these practices may be putting others in the community at risk, including their own loved ones,” Lindsay said. 

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