First two COVID-19 cases in Scott, third in Wise

Mike Still • Apr 8, 2020 at 9:15 AM

WISE — Virginia Department of Health officials have confirmed Scott County’s first two COVID-19 cases and a third case in Wise County.

VDH spokesperson Robert Parker said details about the two Scott County cases — a male and a female — were being withheld at the patients’ request.

Parker said that LENOWISCO Health Department staff members are trying to identify anyone who had contact with the patients and assess their risk of potential exposure so that medical and public health measures can be put in place to protect individuals and the community.

Parker said details about the two latest Wise County cases were also being withheld at the patients’ request.

The Wise County cases followed the county’s first confirmed case reported Saturday — a man in his 70s — in Appalachia.

Michael Wampler, executive director of Mountain Empire Older Citizens, said Tuesday that MEOC employees were told via email that an unidentified staff member had tested positive for COVID-19. He did not specify if the employee was the second or third case reported.

Appalachia Deputy Fire Chief Travis Anderson, in separate videos Saturday and Monday on the department’s Facebook page, said that VDH officials confirmed the first two cases on Friday and Sunday. He said those cases came from two patients that department ambulance crews transported on March 29 and March 30, and that the patients had not shown any COVID-19 symptoms at the time of the transports.

Three department members were placed on 14-day quarantine after the VDH notifications, Anderson said.

“As we enter our fifth week of this public health emergency, COVID-19 has spread to every health district and nearly every corner of Virginia,” LENOWISCO Health District Director Dr. Sue Cantrell said Tuesday. “Each one of us must do everything we can to limit the further spread of illness. We know the most effective way to do this is to stay home as much as possible and practice effective individual precautions, especially for hygiene and distance. That’s how you stay well and how you protect those around you today, and those who will be around you tomorrow and the day after.”

Out of 95 counties and 38 cities in Virginia, 10 counties and four cities remained without reported cases Tuesday. Norton, one of the four cities, is the only LENOWISCO Health District member government without a confirmed case of COVID-19.

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