Lexington has its first coronavirus case

City Manager Jim Halasz said the first case in the Rockbridge area is a 60-year-old woman

One+case+of+the+novel+coronavirus%2C+or+COVID-19%2C+has+been+confirmed+in+the+Rockbridge+area.+Photo+illustration+courtesy+of+the+Center+for+Disease+Control+and+Prevention.

One case of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has been confirmed in the Rockbridge area. Photo illustration courtesy of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hannah Denham

This is a breaking news story that will be updated with new information. 

A 60-year-old woman in Lexington has the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus.

Lexington City Manager Jim Halasz said in an email on Sunday, March 22 that the case is the only one so far in the Rockbridge area.

A press release signed by Rockbridge County, Lexington and Buena Vista officials announced that a case had been confirmed in the Rockbridge area on Friday, March 20, according to the Virginia Department of Health. 

[Read the press release here]

No details have been provided about how many people in the city of Lexington, the city of Buena Vista or Rockbridge County have been tested. 

In a joint statement, Rockbridge County Administrator Spencer Suter, Lexington City Manager Jim Halasz and Interim Buena Vista City Manager Jay Scudder urged local residents to take the coronavirus seriously.

“We continue to work together as a region to take steps to mitigate the evolving public health threat. We urge everyone to follow guidance from the CDC and the VDH. This is a highly communicable disease, which can be transmitted from seemingly healthy individuals, who don’t even know they are infected,” the statement reads. “Everyone must remain vigilant in helping to protect ourselves, our families, friends and neighbors.”

The Virginia Department of Health’s coronavirus website has not yet been updated with the new case, but according to the department, 152 people in Virginia have the coronavirus, 25 people have been hospitalized, two people have died and 2,790 people have been tested.

Lexington City offices closed to the public on Friday evening after the three municipalities declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, March 17.

Rockbridge Area Health Clinic released a press release on Wednesday, March 18 that said because of limited resources, the clinic can only offer coronavirus testing for current patients with the following conditions: mild fever or cough, over 60 years old with underlying health conditions.