The Loudoun County Health Department says a Loudoun resident has tested “presumptive positive” for coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19.
The positive test result is considered presumptive pending confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
County officials say the presumptive positive case is a resident in their 40s. The person is believed to have come in contact with a person with COVID-19 while attending Christ Church, Georgetown in Washington, D.C., which has reported a case.
"This resident was brought to the attention of the Loudoun County Health Department early Tuesday morning following testing for the novel coronavirus by the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services in Richmond," county officials said in a statement. "The patient is currently doing well and is isolated at home."
County officials held a news conference a couple hours after announced the first presumptive positive case. They did not provide any additional details about the victim's identity or where they may have traveled within the county.
“We know the risk of coronavirus disease—or COVID-19—increases among close contacts of infected persons,” Loudoun County Health Department Director David Goodfriend said in a prepared statement. “In this case, based on the results of our contact investigation to date, the risk to the general Loudoun community remains low.”
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness, according to the health department. In a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can cause death, particularly among those who are older or who have chronic medical conditions. Symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person. COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Health experts offer the following tips to avoid the spread of the virus:
-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.
The Loudoun County Health Department has a public information line, 703-737-8300, for questions from Loudoun County residents. The call center is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily.