RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - On this day, one year ago, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported in Virginia.
At the time, guidance was simple: wash your hands and avoid touching your face. Mask mandates hadn’t yet been enacted and nationwide shutdowns were on the cusp of our consciousness.
A U.S. marine at Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County, Virginia, tested positive for the first confirmed case on March 7, 2020. Public health officials said there was no evidence of COVID-19 spreading in the commonwealth, and the overall community risk was low.
The case, along with Virginia’s second confirmed case, was linked to international travel.
Less than a week later, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that all K-12 schools would close for at least two weeks. By the end of March, Northam announced schools would be closed for the remainder of the school year.
On March 14, 2020, the Virginia Department of Health reported the first COVID-19-related death in the commonwealth with 45 confirmed cases statewide.
March 7 signified the beginning of significant changes in Virginian’s lives and communities, but it also opened the door to highlight healthcare and essential workers guiding us through it.
A year later, the Virginia Department of Health has reported more than 580,000 total COVID-19 cases and nearly 25,000 coronavirus patients have been hospitalized.
Since March 14, more than 9,500 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in Virginia.
More than 60,000 of the total cases — and 1,000 of the deaths — were reported in Richmond, Henrico or Chesterfield.
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