Coronavirus

Coronavirus death confirmed in Pittsylvania-Danville Health District; elective surgeries halted by executive order. Watch Gov. Ralph Northam’s press conference.

Coronavirus

UPDATE 4:28 P.M.: The Pittsylvania-Danville Health District says the patient who died was treated at an out-of-state hospital.

“We express our sincere condolences to this person’s family,” said Scott Spillmann, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District. “Unfortunately those over 65 and those with underlying health conditions are at greater risk of serious complications from COVID-19. Everyone, especially 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.”

Virginia Department of Health’s Western Region Public Information Officer Robert Parker said the agency could not release any additional information “due to patient privacy.”

Early Wednesday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper reported the coronavirus death of a Virginian traveling through his state. It is unclear if the case is the same reported by Pittsylvania-Danville Health District.

UPDATE 2:19 P.M.: Gov. Ralph Northam urged Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr., to look to flagship Virginia universities for how to respond to the coronavirus outbreak after he saw media reports about Falwell and the university welcoming students back to campus.

“Stay home,” Northam said, adding that one should only leave home for essential purposes.

UPDATE 2:16 P.M.: Gov. Ralph Northam said he will sign an executive order for hospitals to suspend elective surgeries.

The governor said this measure will save personal protective equipment, like masks and gloves, hospital beds and respirators for people who need them.

Northam said the state will continue to see the number of cases will continue to rise over the next few months. He said hospitals will need to be all hands on deck and they are asking for anyone who is licensed to volunteer and are looking at using medical students in hospitals as well.

He also said he would only have state parks open for day use.

UPDATE 2:12 P.M.: The Virginia Department of Health confirms the first death in the Danville-Pittsylania Health District. More information was not provided.

ORIGINAL STORY
RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is scheduled to brief the press on coronavirus in the Commonwealth at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 25.

WFXR will carry the briefing on air, WFXRtv.com, and the WFXR News app.

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