FRONT ROYAL – Lord Fairfax Health District Director Dr. Colin Greene explained during a Thursday news conference that COVID-19 has infected a wide age range of persons in Warren, Shenandoah, Page, Clarke and Frederick counties.
Although the majority of the district’s 43 positive cases have been detected in residents between 40 and 70, he said it has also been found in individuals in their early 20s and those “well over 80.” He added that the cases are split nearly evenly among the sexes, with 23 men testing positive and 20 women.
Warren County's Deputy Emergency Manager Rick Farrall noted that Valley Health’s local drive-through site administers about 15 tests daily. He added that there is usually about an eight- to 10-day turn around before positive cases are reflected in the Virginia Department of Health’s statistics.
Greene explained that those statistics reflect an individual’s address and does not necessarily mean they are currently in the county. He added that Warren County’s four positive cases are likely “just the tip of the iceberg and that there are many more.”
As the number of cases continues growing, Greene said mitigation and “general prevention” efforts must be taken. The best way to do that, he said, is to stay at home.
“If it can’t jump to a new person, it’s finished. This is its weak point and we must exploit that weakness to defeat it. We need to take away its chance…each of us has that power,” Greene said.
Greene noted that business and restaurant closures in small communities are not an overreaction, saying that every possible preventative step must be taken. He noted that COVID-19 is about 20 times deadlier than the flu, a statistic that in and of itself justifies the precautionary actions.
Warren County Supervisors Chairman Walter Mabe encouraged residents to keep each other informed because “not everybody that you know has access to the internet.”
“We’re asking you to help others,” he said.
He also reiterated the often-repeated safety precautions citizens should take such as covering mouths when coughing or sneezing, frequent hand washing and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
Greene noted that these precautions should not cease when the pandemic is over, as flu season looms.
Mabe added that the town and county are working together and doing everything possible to implement long-term plans, noting that recovering from the virus’s health and economic impact will be a cumbersome process.