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Three Rivers announces upcoming COVID-19 tests; warns residents about continued threat of virus

The Three Rivers Health District announced on Saturday that it is coordinating two COVID-19 community-testing events with the Virginia Air National Guard. The first will be held sometime in June in Middlesex County, and the second will be later on the Northern Neck, said a press release.

The testing effort will be conducted in conjunction with robust case investigation, isolation, and quarantine efforts, said the release, and plans are to continue offering regular regional testing events “to help us to understand and track the level of disease in our communities as we go through the process of re-opening businesses.”

“Those containment activities will be our primary line of defense and protection against this disease,” said the release.

The district will continue working closely with local government officials to inform them of viral transmission levels in their communities as Phase 1 of the re-opening process begins, said the release.

Continue protective measures

District Director Dr. Richard Williams said in the release that people should continue to practice social distancing measures, wear cloth face coverings when in public, maintain a hand-washing regimen, sanitize surfaces, maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others, and avoid large groups in order to avoid a surge in cases.

“Masking in public will be particularly important to prevent the spread of this virus from people with no symptoms,” he said. “It is important to realize that by wearing a face covering, we are protecting all those around us. This disease is a threat to all of us, including our children and grandchildren.”

As of Saturday, the number of deaths nationally was over 87,595 and rising, with over 1.4 million cases, said the release. In Virginia, there were 29,683 cases, 3,724 hospitalizations and 1,002 deaths as of Saturday morning.

“In Three Rivers, we have 367 cases with six deaths,” said Williams. “New cases in our communities, not counting outbreaks, appear at the rate of several a day.”

He said that hospital capacity continues to be in good shape across the state, with about 21 percent of ventilators currently in use. The number of patients hospitalized with positive COVID 19 tests is stable, he said.

“However, the virus is still present in our communities, the majority of us remain susceptible to infection, and the risk of transmission remains very real,” said Williams.

Rise of syndrome in children

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe illness and continues to display a wide range of pathologic effects, said the release. This week there was a rise of a syndrome in young people now known as “Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID 19.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control published a Health Alert Network notification on the syndrome on Friday. The syndrome was first described in late April in the United Kingdom and in early May in New York, said the release, and has been noted in other countries, as well.

Williams warned that people who feel sick at all, even if their symptoms do not feel like COVID 19, should stay at home and consult their health care provider.

“The virus can masquerade as many other diseases, and can fool us all,” said the release. “Difficulty breathing remains a sign of possible serious disease; if this develops, seek help very quickly.”

Three Rivers Health District has activated a public information line, 804-313-1638, for questions about the novel coronavirus situation.

For the latest information about COVID-19 cases in Virginia, visit