FAIRFAX, Va. — According to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the commonwealth has 57 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, including a married couple from the City of Fairfax and two individuals who came into contact with an infected patient from North Carolina.
On March 8, VDH announced that a male resident of the City of Fairfax in his 80s tested positive. He had recently been on an Egyptian cruise down the Nile River, and began to develop symptoms of respiratory illness on Feb. 28, the VDH said.
Officials said he was hospitalized on March 5 and remains in stable condition.
His wife, who traveled on the same cruise with her husband, was confirmed positive for coronavirus on March 9. She was asked to self-quarantine, stay home and avoid contact with others on March 5 when her husband was tested, and officials said she was compliant.
When she developed minor respiratory illness symptoms, VDH decided testing was needed, and she was hospitalized while testing was completed.
"To our knowledge, it is a different boat that several of the other cases have been on," Oliver said. "We don't know a lot of details on this cruise or other potentially ill people who were on that cruise at that time. We don't know of any other Fairfax residents who went on the cruise at this time."
The couple both had limited contact with others while ill and VDH said the risk to the general Fairfax community remains low. Officials stressed that all three exposures were travel-related, and not the result of community transmission.
"We're ready to deal with whatever comes our way," health officials said. "No one should panic if folks adhere to the daily guidelines as recommended before."
On March 12, two new presumptive positive cases for coronavirus were announced by VDH. Both cases were close contacts to a case identified in North Carolina. A man in his 60s, the spouse of the case in North Carolina, became ill with respiratory symptoms on March 2, prior to his spouse being identified as a case on March 9. He is isolated at home.
The second case, a man in his 20s, is also a close contact of the North Carolina case and became ill with symptoms on March 6. He is also isolated at home.
Virginia health officials said the commonwealth and the CDC have been working closely on monitoring the individuals and taking "all measures."
"No additional precautions are recommended," said Virginia State Health Commissioner Dr. Norm Oliver. "This is a rapid evolving situation and information is being shared as soon as it's known."
Virginia health officials said that they do not recommend the closing down of certain community buildings, due to the "limited amount of exposure in the community."
According to Dr. Denise Toney, the director of the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS), the commonwealth currently has two test kits available, each of which can test between 150-200 patients, meaning up to 400 patients can be tested for coronavirus in the state of Virginia.
"We anticipate the access to testing will increase every day so that Virginia can eventually have more access to test whoever needs to be tested," Toney said.
Virginia is currently testing kits twice a day, and results take 12-24 hours to come back.