Coronavirus Briefing / Goodfriend

Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend, at the microphone, discusses preventive health measures against coronavirus at a March 10 COVID-19 briefing. He is flanked by other county officials.

Several Loudoun government officials gathered in the board room of the Loudoun County Government Center in Leesburg Tuesday to publicly address coronavirus, or COVID-19, after a county resident tested "presumptive positive" for the virus earlier in the day.

"We are continuing to do everything in our power to keep Loudoun safe and healthy," Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D) said to open the briefing, which live-streamed on the county website. "It will be the people of Loudoun County ... working together who gets us through this challenging time."

Randall said she and county officials plan to support residents' vigilance against the virus by remaining transparent, keeping residents informed and executing necessary preventive actions "based in facts and in science." She also urged listeners to follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines for hand-washing and hygiene, calling it "the number one thing we need from the public right now."

Loudoun Health Department Director Dr. David Goodfriend followed Randall and detailed the presumptive positive case, saying, "We treat any presumptive positive in Virginia as a true positive." The person in question, a resident in their 40s, submitted to testing after coming in contact with a D.C.-area priest who had tested positive. The local resident is currently quarantined at home.

"This individual did everything right. When the individual felt sick, they went to receive medical care," Goodfriend said.

Coronavirus Briefing / Randall

Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D), center, addresses the public regarding COVID-19 March 10 in the wake of the first Loudoun case. Joining her behind the podium are, from left, County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend, Loudoun County Supervisor Tony Buffington (R-Blue Ridge), Sheriff Mike Chapman (R) and Combined Fire and Rescue System Chief Keith Johnson.

He added Loudoun's ever-increasing population and traffic have led his department to anticipate such great public health ordeals for many years. "We have been preparing not just since January, when this became an issue ... but we've been preparing for the last 15 years, knowing that in northern Virginia, and being home to a major international airport, we're always only one flight or one car ride away from any infection that's around in the world."

The floor then opened for questions from attendees, warranting answers from Randall, Goodfriend and Sheriff Mike Chapman (R), the latter of whom described preventive measures taken at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center. "We're doing extensive background [checks] on the bookings coming in ... and we check for the coronavirus for people that are coming in," he said.

The detention center, he said, also has a 48-hour holding facility with exterior ventilation for new inmates as an added safeguard.

When asked, Goodfriend said state-sponsored testing for the virus does not involve drawing blood but is often restricted to a throat swab. Only those feeling sick should call their doctor with virus-related concerns, he said, barring special circumstances.

"If people are feeling healthy, there's not a good reason to be tested unless you're a contact of a known case," he said.

After he recommended those who feel sick first "rule out the common stuff" by getting tested for the flu or strep throat, Goodfriend added it is possible to have both the flu and COVID-19 at once. "The same things that will keep you safe from coronavirus hopefully will also keep you safe from the flu," he said.

Responding to the Times-Mirror, Randall said the county, unlike Loudoun County Public Schools, has not yet planned or prepared to implement Internet-based telework procedures for applicable government employees. "As far as Loudoun County employees ... if you feel sick at all, stay home, let us know and make all the appropriate calls to Dr. Goodfriend," she said. "We have no plans right now to limit or to shut down Loudoun County government in any way."

The briefing is available to view in full at loudoun.gov/2203/Meeting-Videos. More information from the county regarding emergency preparedness can be found at loudoun.gov/ready.

Tuesday's meeting, which was called at the same time the first presumptive positive case was announced, comes a day in advance of pre-planned briefing for the public and members of the Board of Supervisors. That meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the county government center.

(9) comments

LoudounClear

I don't think the issue is whether or not the White House is blocking travel to the US from countries where the virus is on the march. I think what's bothering many Americans is that we have a President who repeatedly shown he can't be trusted. Add to that, we're now seeing that moves he's made -- like disbanding the National Security pandemic team a couple of years ago, or putting out misinformation to minimize the threat we face -- have put us in a serious fix. I think most of us would feel better if we had a leader we could trust and one who had the sense to trust science.

Jeanne T

And no doubt you believe it's stupid to disallow people with COVID-19 symptoms from coming into the country.

16,000-18,000 people have died from flu in this country so far during this current flu season. How many have died so far from COVID-19? And in case you haven't heard, the same recommendations for preventing flu, very common sense precautions in developed countries, are exactly the same ones recommended for preventing COVID-19.

I could tell you about a REAL epidemic in this country that no one is talking about, no doubt you don't want to hear about it. But you can go to the CDC and read about it if you are smart and curious. That one is almost completely preventable as well, but the consequences of this epidemic has lifetime consequences. Are you smart enough to guess what it is?

LoudounClear

Gun violence?

Jeanne T

Nope. Guess again.

MAGA Morons Are Governing America

I have to say I'm amazed to see the red-hatted lemmings run right over the cliff because the very stable genius and his propaganda apparatus over at Fox News tells them that believing we have a national emergency with this vrus is disloyal to him. Thankfully, the rest of us know who's been destroying the ability of our government to respond adequately to this crisis and we'll give him much more time on the golf course come January 2021.

Matthew

I don't now about that, but I would never allow any man or woman to live rent free in my head as this one person does in yours. To the contrary, vitriolic posts such as these are not well received by independent voters. However, you have the right to free speech, just wanted to let you know that you are likely having a different effect on people who actually still read any of your posts than you are intending.

NvolvedParent

The CDC is responsible for its inability to adequately respond to the incompetency of the CDC in accurately reporting and mitigating just about every contagious illness that it tracks and has been unable to for decades. The best they can do is an ILI and those never tell an accurate story either.

Matthew

Good grief, we are doomed. Our "officials" only have enough grey matter to deal with things such as debating whether to remove a statue that no one pays any attention to, which gender may enter a certain bathroom, or discussing how many of them they should bring along to change a light bulb, not something like Covid!

WesternSky

Are we supposed to wash out hands? I didn't see that in the article or press conference. What I am supposed to believe?

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