Radford student first confirmed case of coronavirus in New River Health District

The New River Health District has announced Tuesday its first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident of the district.

The patient is a woman in her 20’s who lives in Radford. She is currently self-isolating, with no known exposures to the public, according to the VDH. Radford University sent an email to its community, informing them that the patient is a student.

“We’ve been preparing for this news for more than two weeks,” said Noelle Bissell, M.D., director, New River Health District. “The Virginia Department of Health and our partners in health and public safety have been in constant contact to develop effective measures to keep New River Valley residents safe and well. Now, more than ever, it’s important for everyone to practice personal public health precautions, primarily for hand and surface hygiene and social distancing. These are the most effective ways to minimize the spread of illness and keep yourself and those around you well.”

“For each confirmed case of any communicable illness that is required to be reported, the VDH identifies potential contacts, assesses their risk of exposure and recommends appropriate public health and medical measures,” said Dr. Bissell.

In a release from the city of Radford, residents were reminded to avoid gatherings of more than 10 and to practice social distancing when shopping, getting gas and carrying out other essential tasks.

Radford City Mayor David Horton said, “From the beginning of the COVID 19 situation we have known that it would only be a matter of time before a case was confirmed in the City of Radford. We received word of that today. Our New River Health Officials have been on a high alert for weeks and are responding appropriately as is our community. We will continue to share facts and resources with Radford citizens to help them make good choices and protect themselves and their families. We wish the patient a swift and full recovery.”

City Manager David Ridpath said, “As a community, commonwealth and country, we need resolve and compassion. Take care of your family and look out for your neighbors who may need extra assistance. Together, we will be far more successful than we could ever be alone. The City is using all available resources, as well as advisories during this
unprecedented time.”

Radford City officials will continue to monitor the virus and make regular contact with regional officials and the VDH.

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