VDH: President’s COVID-19 diagnosis is a reminder that people need to remain virus vigilant

VDH: President’s COVID-19 diagnosis is a reminder that people need to remain virus vigilant

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia Department of Health officials are keeping a close eye on COVID-19 cases after news of President Donald Trump’s diagnosis. He campaigned in the tidewater area a week ago.

“It is a clear reminder that no matter how high up in the chain you are, or how protected you think you are that everybody’s susceptible,” said Dr. Danny Avula, Richmond/Henrico Health Districts Director.

A spokesperson for the Hampton Health District says they have not identified a direct connection between the president’s rally and any confirmed COVID-19 cases. But, VDH notes the incubation period is still ongoing.

Meanwhile, health officials say the president’s diagnosis and Governor Ralph Northam’s are two high-profile examples of why contact tracing is so important.

“We need to go and find those individuals and ensure that they are quarantining and monitoring themselves for symptoms so that they don’t inadvertently develop the disease and spread it to somebody else,” said Dr. Avula. “So the case investigation and contact tracing is our most effective tool to quickly identify where a disease is and contain its spread.”

The president and governor’s cases are also reminders of why everyone needs to remain vigilant about the virus.

“This disease transmits through contact, right,” said Dr. Avula. “The way that people get it is by proximity and time, and the more that people are around other people, the higher the likelihood that if they are infected with COVID that they will transmit it to somebody else.”

The governor and First Lady Pamela Northam sent their best wishes to the president Friday morning, while also reminding everyone that 450 Virginians were also diagnosed with COVID-19 on Thursday. Northam and his wife were diagnosed with coronavirus last week and remain in isolation.

The couple entered their positive results into COVIDWISE. That’s the downloadable app that tells you and others who use it if they’ve come into contact with someone with the virus. It’s been downloaded more than 573,000 times.

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