UPDATE: Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tazewell County travel related

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UPDATE: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 5:00 a.m.: Both confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tazewell County are travel related, according to Sue Cantrell, M.D., Director of the Cumberland Plateau and Lenowisco Health Districts.

Officials also confirm both people infected with the virus are self-isolating.

Original Story: TAZEWELL, VA (WVNS) – In a press release sent out on Saturday, March 28, 2020, The Tazewell County Board of Supervisors announced they’ve been informed by the Virginia Department of Health of the first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tazewell County. In recent weeks the Board has been preparing for this unfortunate event.

Board Chairman, Charles Stacy, observed, “This is unfortunate but not unexpected. We all hoped our communities would be spared but knew it was merely a matter of time. We ask that all of our residents continue to practice social distancing, frequent hand washing, and limit your interaction with others. That is the best way to protect yourself and your family.”

On March 20, 2020 the Board declared a state of emergency in anticipation of COVID-19 reaching Tazewell County. Since then the Board has taken initial steps to first secure the continued operation of government. Now the Board’s actions will move toward helping the Department of Health control the spread within the county.

County Administrator, Eric Young, reminded the public, “We have been operating for several days as though the virus already was among us. For the time being we are not conducting any emergency operations based on these first known cases. We have been and will continue feverishly preparing for the spread of this virus, because we know there will be more cases. We continue to work daily with the Virginia Departments of Emergency Management and Health. They have been a tremendous help in the planning process. We will continue to follow their advice in the best interests of public health.”

VDH is working hard to identify and notify all of those with whom the infected person may have had contact in the last fourteen days. Chairman Stacy, said, “Just like colds and flu, this virus does not pick or chose victims. Anyone can have it, and anyone can spread it. The persons now known to have contracted this virus and their families are in the thoughts and prayers of the Board members and everyone in administration.”

The Board will hold a specially called meeting next Monday afternoon at 2:00PM to discuss emergency actions which have been taken in concert with state and federal agencies to control the spread of the virus. Public attendance is limited to telephonic means due to public gathering restrictions but media members may attend in person, up to ten members of the media.

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