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First Charlottesville resident, a U.Va. Women’s Center employee, tests positive for COVID-19

The Charlottesville resident is an individual in their late 50s, and the case appears to be travel-related, a press release stated

The member of the University community who tested positive for COVID-19 remains unidentified.
The member of the University community who tested positive for COVID-19 remains unidentified.

A staff member of the University’s Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center has tested positive for COVID-19, University President Jim Ryan announced Monday afternoon in a University-wide email. 

The email followed an earlier alert from the University announcing that a University community member had been diagnosed with the illness caused by coronavirus.

“The Virginia Department of Health is leading the effort to identify individuals who were in contact with the staff member, reaching out to those individuals, and arranging for their isolation,” Ryan said in his email. “University staff are also working to support potentially impacted students, faculty and staff.  In addition, the UVA Women’s Center is being vacated and deep-cleaned with products that kill the coronavirus in accordance with CDC guidelines.”

Ryan noted that the employee lives off-Grounds and is receiving care in quarantine at home, following protocols from the Virginia Department of Health. According to an email sent out to Women's Center interns by Abby Palko, director of the Women's Center, all staff at the Women's Center are currently self-quarantining. 

As the alert detailed, Ryan noted that more updates and information can be found at www.virginia.edu/coronavirus or by calling the UVA COVID-19 Response Line at 877-685-4836 for domestic callers, or 202-800-2408 for international callers.

“Given the progression of the virus, it is not a surprise to discover a local case, but we know it will heighten anxiety,” Ryan said. “We will be in further touch to announce any additional changes we are making as the situation unfolds, and we will continue to update the website.”

About an hour before the University sent out its initial alert, Virginia Department of Health’s Thomas Jefferson Health District announced that a Charlottesville resident had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The health district confirmed with The Cavalier Daily that the Charlottesville resident was the same case as the University community member, later revealed to be the Women’s Center employee.

According to a press release, the diagnosis is the first case of COVID-19 to test positive in the district, which covers the City of Charlottesville, and the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson. 

The resident, an individual in their late 50s, was tested by a commercial lab, the press release stated. The case appears to be travel-related, the release said.

“The situation with COVID-19 outbreak is rapidly changing, so it is not surprising that we are identifying a case in our area,” said Dr. Denise Bonds, Thomas Jefferson Health District Director, in the release. "Public health officials will work to isolate the patient and to investigate all people who had close contact with the patient. Contacts will be asked to stay home away from others for 14 days.”

This article has been updated with additional information from University President Jim Ryan and Director of the Women's Center Abby Palko.

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