Man in His 70s Is First Coronavirus Death in Virginia

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A Virginia resident in his 70s who was hospitalized for COVID-19 has died, health officials said Saturday.

It is the first death in the state due to the coronavirus, the Virginia Department of Health said. The man's cause of death was respiratory failure as a result of COVID-19.

The man lived in James City County, where there is a "limited" community spread, according to county officials. The county reported eight cases of coronavirus, as of Saturday afternoon.

“Pam and I were deeply saddened to learn that a Virginian has died from COVID-19, and we grieve for everyone this virus has touched around the world," Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement.

“On behalf of the entire Commonwealth, we express our deepest sympathy for the family and loved ones of the patient who died, as well as the families of everyone who has been affected by this outbreak,” State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A., said in a release.

Virginia health officials reported Saturday that 41 people in the state have tested positive for coronavirus.

“This is a public health crisis—we must all treat it as such," Northam said. “Again, I urge Virginians: take this seriously. Take basic health precautions, avoid large gatherings, telework if possible, and stay home if you are sick. That will stop the virus from spreading."

Northam said he will meet with local officials on the Peninsula on Sunday and speak to the community about additional measures the state plans to take.

Stay with News4 and for updates to this developing story.

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