The Fairfax County Health Department is reporting its first death of a hospitalized patient who previously tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. The patient was a male in his 60s who acquired COVID-19 through contact with a previously reported case. The cause of death was respiratory failure as a result of COVID-19.
This is the third death attributed to COVID-19 in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Virginia Department of Health reported two deaths earlier in the week in the Peninsula Health District.
“We are saddened by the first confirmed death of a Fairfax County resident due to COVID-19. Our hearts go out to his loved ones,” said Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu, Director of Health at Fairfax County Health Department. “The health of our residents is our top priority and we ask that everyone do their part to slow the spread of the virus in our community: practice social distancing, wash your hands, and cover coughs and sneezes.”
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness. 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. If symptoms develop, please contact your health care provider and describe the situation.
To lower the risk of transmission, the Health Department recommends the following:
- Avoid non-essential travel and public gatherings, especially if you are an individual who is at increased risk for severe illness, including pregnant women, older adults and persons of any age with underlying health conditions.
- Avoid travel to all areas where there are outbreaks 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.
- If you are mildly sick with a fever, stay home except to get medical care.
- Those with high risk factors and who have fever or new or worsening cough, should consider contacting their providers earlier when they are sick. Call ahead to let them know of your symptoms.
Follow these information resources on COVID-19:
- Call our Health Department Call Center at 703-267-3511 with Coronavirus questions; open 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
- Text FFXCOVID to 888777 to receive updates from Fairfax County about COVID-19.
- Email questions or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org. This email account will be staffed Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. through 8 p.m.
- Visit a web portal for coronavirus that serves as a one-stop online resource for information.
- Learn more about COVID-19 on the Health Department Coronavirus (COVID-19) Webpage or FAQ page.
- Follow the Fairfax County Government Facebook Page and Health Department Facebook Page.
- Follow @fairfaxcounty and @fairfaxhealth on Twitter.
The Fairfax Health District includes Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, City of Falls Church, and the towns of Vienna and Herndon.
Please note: this case has not yet been counted in the totals on the website.