Coronavirus update: Cases in Virginia jump to 391; 3rd resident at Henrico rehabilitation center dies


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Here’s the latest on COVID-19:

State officials urge people to practice social distancing as the number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia continues to rise. The Virginia Department of Health reported 101 additional cases Wednesday, taking the total to 391.

There are at least 59 people in the hospital and nine reported deaths in Virginia. During Wednesday’s briefing, Gov. Northam and state health officials confirmed three additional deaths, which would bring the total to 12.

Powhatan County announces first case of COVID-19

Powhatan County officials confirmed their first case of coronavirus Wednesday evening. According to the Virginia Department of Health, the patient is not hospitalized and currently in self-isolation.

Virginia SNAP program to issue emergency benefits on Wednesday

The Virginia Department of Social Services announced Wednesday that emergency benefits would be made available to Virginia Supplemental Assistance Program (SNAP) participants during March and April.

“We must make sure that no Virginian goes hungry during this time of crisis,” VDSS Commissioner S. Duke Storen said in a statement. “Increasing the resources available to low-income Virginians to purchase food is vital to fighting hunger.”

3rd resident at Henrico rehabilitation center dies from COVID-19 complications

A third resident of the Canterbury Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center died, a state health official confirmed Wednesday, marking the third Henrico County resident to succumb to COVID-19.

“Over the past 11 days, 14 Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare residents have tested positive for COVID-19. It is with heavy hearts that we confirm three of these patients, who had been receiving treatment at a regional hospital, have died. Two patients continue to receive treatment at the hospital, and – per guidance from the Henrico County Health Department – nine patients are currently being treated onsite at Canterbury in an isolated unit with dedicated nursing and certified nursing assistant staff. Their status is being monitored closely. Additionally, four Canterbury healthcare workers have tested positive for the virus,” a statement from the center said.

Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation announces closures “until further notice”

Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation announced Wednesday that all playgrounds, dog parks, skate parks, basketball and volleyball courts will be closed until further notice starting Thursday. The message was shared in a tweet:

Virginia man dies in North Carolina from COVID-19 complications

Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina announced the state’s first two deaths from COVID-19. In a statement Wednesday, Cooper confirmed that a Virginia man in his 60s who was traveling through North Carolina died from coronavirus complications.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones. This is a stark warning that for some people COVID-19 is a serious illness. All of us must do our part to stop the spread by staying at home as much as possible and practicing social distancing,” Cooper said.

Charlottesville urges Northam to issue “stay-at-home” order

Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker has asked Gov. Ralph Northam to issue a “stay-at-home” order similar to what New York and California have passed. Walker sent the governor a letter requesting the change Tuesday.

“Virginia must take action now to halt the spread of COVID-19 before it results in further illness and death within the Commonwealth,” Walker said. “The Council does not believe that this Executive Order’s social distancing measures are sufficient to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Virginia.”

VCU Health announces development of in-house test for COVID-19

Virginia Commonwealth University Health System has developed an in-house COVID-19 test for a pilot program meant for inpatients, the university announced Wednesday. This comes a day after the university said they have begun clinical trials for an experimental treatment of coronavirus.

VCU Health aims to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus with its in-house test by “significantly” reducing wait times for test results. The university plans to continue developing its testing capabilities and pursue other options in order to meet the demands for testing.

The director of microbiology at VCU Health who oversees the implementation of new technologies in the VCU Health clinical microbiology laboratory said Wednesday they “designed this test from the ground up in less than two weeks.”

Latest COVID-19 updates:

“Olympics of the Violin” postponed until 2021 due to coronavirus

Organizers of the Menuhin Competition, one of the world’s biggest competitions for young violinists, have postponed the 2020 event until next year due to the coronavirus. The international event was scheduled to take place in Richmond, Va., from May 14-24.

The competition, known as the “Olympics of the Violin,” will take place May 13-23, 2021.

Federal officials reach deal on $2 trillion aid package

The White House and Senate leaders of both parties have struck an agreement on a sweeping $2 trillion measure to aid workers, businesses and a health care system strained by the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are done. We have a deal,” Top White House aide Eric Ueland said.

Here are some tips from VDH on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • 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.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus pandemic

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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