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COVID-19 Live Updates | 739 positive cases reported in Virginia; that's up by 135 since Friday

You'll find important information about coronavirus cases as well as impacts that COVID-19 is having on life in Hampton Roads and in northeastern North Carolina.

Saturday, March 28

1 p.m.

The Western Tidewater Health District reported its first COVID-19 death in the region.

The man was in his 60s and died in a local hospital from respiratory failure, officials said.

The man had several underlying medical conditions.

9 a.m.

The Virginia Department of Health is reporting that 739 people in the state have tested positive for COVID-19. That's up by 135 since Friday.

Health officials report that 17 people have died and 99 people have been hospitalized.

As of Friday, 177 people in the Hampton Roads area have also been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. That's up by 39 since Friday.

Friday, March 27

7:13 p.m.

A resident at a Williamsburg retirement community has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

The resident of Williamsburg Landing is currently in the hospital. Williamsburg Landing says it is working closely with public health officials to determine who may have been in contact with the resident.

The retirement community took further steps after the diagnosis, including requesting all residents in that building to remain in their apartments. All needs of residents are being attended to by staff. 

5:15 p.m.

President John Broderick confirmed that a staff member at Old Dominion University tested positive for COVID-19. The staff member is a faculty researcher who recently returned to the states from working overseas.

The individual did go into self-isolation at home after returning when symptoms developed. There was no exposure to the campus or the public.

4:42 p.m.

President Trump signed the $2.2 trillion stimulus package that would give $1,200 to most Americans and $500 for each child.

The package will also support businesses, rush resources to overburdened health care providers and help struggling families during the deepening coronavirus epidemic. 

4:05 p.m.

Governor Roy Cooper issues a stay-at-home order for the entire state of North Carolina. It goes into effect at 5 p.m. Monday.

The order means people should stay at home unless they need to leave for essentials: food, medicine, outdoor exercise, or to help someone. Gatherings of more than 10 people are banned, and everyone has to stay six feet away from each other.

4:00 p.m.

A public health emergency has been declared at Joint Base Langley-Eustis. The emergency order will remain in place for 30 days, and the new restrictions are meant to minimize the spread of the deadly virus. The order can be extended or shortened, based on developments.

"This declaration allows greater access to health care resources, and broader authority to limit access onto the installation, and restrict the movement of residents," said installation commander Col. Clint Ross.

Meanwhile, a fourth person at Newport News Shipbuilding has tested positive for coronavirus. Shipyard President Jennifer Boykin said the person is Navy personnel who worked at  Building 4931-2/MOF Facility (Bay 1), Mid-Yard.

2:00 p.m.

During a news conference, Governor Ralph Northam asks the president for a special testing center for essential federal workers in the Washington, Maryland and Virginia area. 

"We are home to the majority of federal workers, more than 360,000 across our three jurisdictions, and many of them work in critical agencies that must continue to operate," Northam said. 

He put it simply when describing the commonwealth's state of coronavirus supplies: "We do not have enough testing materials and personal protective equipment for our medical staff and our first responders."

The number of coronavirus cases in the state since yesterday had jumped by 144 by the time of the press conference.

Northam and the emergency response team said there was a serious need for a faster turnaround time in processing COVID-19 tests, both to properly isolate coronavirus carriers, and to preserve equipment when medical workers treat sick people who aren't carrying the virus.

Northam again entreated people to stay home unless they needed essential supplies, like food or medicine.

One reporter asked why he didn't issue a stay-at-home order for Virginia, and Northam said that order would be "a matter of semantics," since he's been asking Virginians to stay home and avoid gatherings for days.

10:19 a.m.

Sentara has opened drive-thru COVID-19 screening locations at Military Circle in Norfolk and Sentara Careplex Hospital in Hampton. They will be open for COVID-19 testing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday.

Please note that none of the Sentara drive-thru screening locations will be open this weekend, March 28 and March 29.

9:50 a.m.

The Virginia Department of Health is reporting that 604 people in the state have tested positive for COVID-19. That's up by 144 since Thursday.

Health officials are also reporting that 14 people have died and 83 people have been hospitalized so far. As of Friday, 138 people in the Hampton Roads area have also been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. That's up by 18 since Thursday.

Thursday, March 26

11:00 p.m.

The Gloucester County School Board is alerting residents of a possible COVID-19 exposure earlier this month at Abingdon Elementary School.

An employee who works at Abingdon Elementary is suspected of having the coronavirus, and last worked at the school on March 12 and March 13.

Health officials say coronavirus can incubate for up to 14 days, although symptoms usually appear within four to five days.  It has been 13 days from the latest possible exposure.

The school board said that any staff members pr parents who notice respiratory symptoms in their children or themselves should contact their pediatrician or primary care provider for evaluation and advice.

The Virginia Department of Health currently reports two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Gloucester, including a young child.

If you have any questions, you can contact the Three Rivers Health District COVID-19 call center at 804-313-1638 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

9:00 p.m.

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority confirms an employee at the ABC store located at 3333 Virginia Beach Boulevard in Virginia Beach has tested positive for COVID-19.  

The employee has not been to work since March 14 and is currently in isolation. The store is closed until further notice and will undergo a thorough deep cleaning and sanitation.

6:06 p.m.

The Western Tidewater Health District has confirmed that a male in his 60's tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Southampton County. This is the first COVID-19 case in the county. 

The man was living in an assisted living facility in Northampton County, North Carolina and was taken to hospital in Southampton County for an unrelated medical emergency. That's when he was tested for the virus.

Health officials plan to contact anyone who may have come into contact with the patient.

4:44 p.m.

Norfolk Festevents is postponing its May events due to the impact of COVID-19. That includes:

  • 14th Annual Spring Town Point Virginia Wine Festival (postponed, new dates TBD)
  • Chip & Sip: A Waterfront Happy Hour Golf Series (postponed, new dates TBD)
  • TowneBank Fountain Park Opening (May dates canceled; will open June 1)
  • Big Bands on the Bay Concert Series at Ocean View Beach Park (May 24 & 31 dates postponed)

Festevents will announce at a later date options to redeem tickets for the rescheduled date or refund policy for ticket purchasers for the Spring Town Point Virginia Wine Festival once a new date has been confirmed.

2:19 p.m.

The Eastern Shore Health District confirmed a third resident had tested positive for COVID-19. The person affected is a woman in her 20s, who had recently traveled from another country with known community spread.

The health district said it is investigating the case and any potential exposures.

1:36 p.m.

Norfolk says all city dog parks and some other parks will close at sunset and remain closed until further notice:

The other parks include Northside skate park, small neighborhood and school parks and picnic shelters.

1:21 p.m.

Joint Base Langley-Eustis says the spouse of a soldier died as a result of COVID-19.

12 p.m.

The Virginia Department of Health says there are 460 cases of COVID-19 in the state and that 13 people have died because of it.

Out of the 460 cases statewide, the Hampton Roads area accounts for 120.

12 p.m.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says the state has 636 cases of COVID-19. Two people have died. There are at least 9 cases in northeastern North Carolina.

10:30 a.m.

Someone who lives at The Chamberlin in Hampton tested positive for COVID-19. It's the first case in the city.

The Chamberlin is an independent living community for seniors. The person who tested positive is in the hospital. The management notified people who live there and other people with connections to the community.

9:40 a.m.

Sentara Healthcare says because of the high volume of COVID-19 testing, it could take patients 10 or more days to get results.

Sentara also says these are the drive-thru screening locations and times for the day:

Sentara CarePlex Hospital
3000 Coliseum Drive
Hampton
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Military Circle
880 N. Military Highway
Norfolk
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Sentara Princess Anne Hospital
2025 Glenn Mitchell Drive
Virginia Beach
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

8:56 a.m.

Currituck County says the Currituck County Department of Social Services office will be open by appointment only. A number of paper applications will be available without an appointment. People can pick them up during regular business hours.

Wednesday, March 25

5:55 p.m.

Newport News Shipbuilding says a third worker tested positive for COVID-19. The head of the shipyard says the civilian employee: 

  • Works in Building 2 outside the gates in the South Yard area.
  • Self-reported which allowed NNS to notify people and increase cleaning
  • Has not been on company property since March 16.

5:39 p.m.

Colonial Williamsburg says it's expanding its closures to include most of its hotels. The expanded closures will begin March 27 and extend through April 30. Continuing closures include:

  • Historic Area interpretive sites and programs
  • The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg
  • Restaurants and most other food and beverage locations
  • The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg
  • The Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center
  • The John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library
  • The Custis Square archaeological site
  • Bassett Hall

5:04 p.m.

IKEA Norfolk says it will close at 7 p.m. until further. The building, itself, already had been closed to customers. Associates had been fulfilling online orders with curbside service, but that service will stop.