First COVID-19 death in Western Tidewater area

Published 5:10 pm Saturday, March 28, 2020

Third case reported in Isle of Wight

By Tracy Agnew

Staff writer

The Western Tidewater Health District is reporting its first death related to COVID-19 and Isle of Wight has reported a third case.

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The man, who is in his 60s, was a patient in a hospital, where he died due to respiratory failure, according to a press release from the health district. He had several underlying medical conditions, which exacerbated the effects of COVID-19.

“The staff of the Western Tidewater Health District is deeply saddened by the death of this patient,” said Dr. Todd Wagner, district director. “This is another remind of how important it is for us to protect ourselves and others from the COVID-19 virus.”

A regional call center is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at 683-2745.

The morning update from the Virginia Department of Health lists 739 cases, an increase of 22 percent from Friday’s report. The report lists 99 hospitalizations and 17 deaths, although the number of deaths does not include the Western Tidewater patient.

There remain a total of one case in Suffolk and one case in Southampton County. Isle of Wight County is now reporting three cases, an increase of one from Friday. Larry Hill, public information officer for the Virginia Department of Health, said he had no information on the additional Isle of Wight case.

To lower the risk of respiratory germ spread, including COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health encourages the following effective behaviors:

Elderly and those at-risk should stay at home as much as possible; if not possible, avoid large gatherings

Practice social distancing of 6 feet or more.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Stay home when you are sick.

Avoid contact with sick people.

Limit travel as much as possible.