7 new COVID-19 cases in Richmond & Henrico, 4 connected to long-term rehab center

Updated: Mar. 20, 2020 at 3:06 PM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Seven new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the city of Richmond and Henrico County, with at least three other tests pending.

At a news conference Friday, Dr. Danny Avula, Director of the Richmond and Henrico Department of Health, announced four of those seven new cases were connected to Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center.

“Over the past 48 hours, four Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare residents have tested positive for COVID-19,” said a news release from the facility. “Test results for three additional residents with similar symptoms of respiratory illness are currently pending. Per guidance from the Henrico County Health Department, all seven patients are currently being treated onsite in an isolated unit with dedicated nursing and certified nursing assistant staff. Their status is being monitored closely.”

“They have mostly fever, cough, congestion; most of the symptoms we’ve been seeing in most cases, but they’re stable,” Avula said.

The positive tests for the coronavirus impacted the following individuals at the facility:

  • A woman in her 50s
  • A man in his 60s
  • A woman in her 60s
  • A woman in her 70s

At this time it’s not known how they were exposed to the virus.

“Thankfully they had suspended admissions and resident visitations even prior to this first case along with a lot of other nursing homes and long-term care facilities," Avula said.

“The safety and health of Canterbury residents and staff is our primary concern,” a news release said. “We are working directly with local and state health departments and taking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) protocols to help contain the spread of the virus. This includes continual monitoring of all residents for COVID-19 symptoms along with daily employee screenings. Those employees with respiratory symptoms and fever are prohibited from entering our lobby.”

This is now the third type of healthcare facility in Virginia where residents have contracted COVID-19. The first case was at Westminster Canterbury Richmond in Henrico, a continuing care facility; the second case was at a nursing home in northern Virginia.

“What often happens in healthcare facilities is that there is close contact of patients," Avula said. "They’re up and about, dining together.”

There was also a fifth COVID-19 case announced in Henrico on Friday. Avula said it involves a man in his 40s who had no known exposure.

“The fact that when we’re testing relatively healthy people who have not known where they have come into contact, but they’ve then developed a fever - they’re turning positive as well," Avula said. "We have community spread going on here in Central Virginia.”

In terms of the city of Richmond, Avula announced two new cases.

One is a man in his 30s who had traveled to Kentucky earlier this month. The second new case is a woman in her 20s who did not travel but had contact with at least three other individuals who had traveled to Spain recently.

Overall, Richmond how has six total cases of COVID-19, while Henrico has seven.

Three of Richmond’s cases are connected to a group of men who traveled to North Carolina earlier this month. A Henrico woman, who was the first person to test positive for COVID-19 in the County, was also part of that group.

Richmond’s fourth case involved a man who traveled to New York and had contact with a person who had the virus.

Henrico’s second case was connected to a man in his 80s who is a resident at Westminster Canterbury Richmond. This man is currently hospitalized at VCU Medical Center.

Westminster Canterbury Richmond and Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center are not connected, rather are separate facilities with different owners.

Richmond, Henrico Health Districts update on cases, testing efforts

The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts director gives an update on coronavirus cases in the area, along with testing efforts.

Posted by NBC12 on Friday, March 20, 2020

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