Va. now has 100+ cases as COVID-19 spreads statewide
Twenty people are hospitalized across the commonwealth.
As of Friday, Virginia has 114 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which now has spread to every region of the commonwealth, State Health Commissioner Dr. M. Norman Oliver confirmed during the state’s daily coronavirus news conference.
“We do not have a medicine for COVID-19. We do not have a vaccine,” Oliver said. “The only thing we have to prevent the spread of this disease is social distancing, so we need to do that.”
There are currently 20 people hospitalized from the illness in Virginia, which has so far seen two deaths since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the commonwealth on March 7. Oliver said 35 more COVID-19 tests were being processed by state labs Friday, in addition to any testing being performed by private labs such as LabCorp and Quest Diagnostic. Currently, Virginia has the capacity to test 1,000 people for coronavirus, Oliver said. More than 2,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Virginia in recent weeks.
During the daily news conference, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam acknowledged media reports that restaurants and other businesses have violated the state’s 10-person capacity limit he put in place earlier this week for restaurants, fitness gyms and theaters. Localities have the authority to force businesses to abide by the 10-person rule, Northam says. Restaurants are still allowed to deliver food or have customers pick up meals. Northam has also granted authority to the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control to allow restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages to go.
As of Friday, more than 16,000 Virginians have filed unemployment claims, up from 10,000 reported by the state on Thursday.
“For many people, this increased stress can exacerbate underlying health conditions. It can bring increased depression and anxiety and the risk of domestic violence,” Northam said. “Please check on each other.”