Coronavirus update: Richmond, Henrico Health Dept. urge demonstrators to follow COVID-19 safety measures; 47,856 cases in VA


FILE – In this April 16, 2020, file photo, a medical worker places a swab in a vial while testing the homeless for COVID-19 through the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, during the new coronavirus pandemic, in Miami. An Associated Press analysis finds that most states are not meeting the minimum levels of testing suggested by the federal government and recommended by public health researchers even as many of them begin to reopen their shattered economies. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Here’s the latest on the coronavirus pandemic for June 4, 2020:

The Virginia Department of Health reported 47,856 cases of COVID-19 — 45,620 confirmed and 2,136 probable — Thursday. The death toll is now at 1,445.

Virginia Hospitals and Healthcare Association reported that over 6,200 people with the virus have been released from the hospital. The VDH and VHHA do not report recoveries.

11th GRTC employee tests positive for COVID-19

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — GRTC announced Thursday that since March, a total of 11 employees has tested positive for COVID-19.

“The employee, a bus operator, is not believed to be connected to any previous staff cases,” GRTC said in a statement. The bus operator last worked on Monday, June 1. The GRTC employee tested the next day on June 2.

The bus operator is currently quarantined with mild symptoms.

Protesters at increased risk of spreading COVID-19

The Richmond and Henrico Health Departments is reminding locals about the potential impact of spreading COVID-19 while protesting.

As local demonstrators continue to draw thousands of people to downtown Richmond to march in “close proximity,” health officials are warning that protesters who don’t wear masks are putting others at risk. Health officials remind protesters that “even outdoors, COVID-19 can transmit from person to person through large gatherings, and just a handful of contagious people can potentially infect hundreds around them.”

The virus also spreads more easily if an infected person is yelling, health officials add, which is common during a protest.

Richmond and Henrico Health District officials remind those in attendance to protect themselves and others by taking a few steps to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19:

  •  If you feel sick, stay home.
  • Wear a mask over your mouth and nose. Remember that masks are most effective when everyone is wearing them, as unmasked people can still spread COVID-19 to masked people in close proximity, especially if they are coughing or yelling.
  • Noisemakers, drums, and written signs can convey personal messages with much lower risk for viral transmission.
  • Consider carrying goggles and saline spray to reduce coughing and sneezing if you are exposed to smoke, pepper spray, or other chemical irritants.
  • Try to stick close to people you know while marching or gathering. If you become infected, this can help with contact tracing efforts.
  • Monitor yourself closely for symptoms for two weeks after you protest. If symptoms appear, be sure to isolate and call your primary care provider to arrange testing or come to a community testing event.
  • Remember that people with COVID-19 do not always experience symptoms, so take care for two weeks after you attend a protest to wear a mask and practice social distancing to protect your loved ones and community.

Testing at Tuckahoe Middle School

If you need a COVID-19 test and live in the City of Richmond, you can attend the testing location at Tuckahoe Middle School this morning.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can call 804-205-3501 to register for the event at Tuckahoe or click here for more options.

The city is asking those who have attended recent demonstrations to consider getting tested for the novel coronavirus.

COVID-19 in Virginia

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus pandemic

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