Blue Ridge Parkway

A motorcyclist enjoys a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. Extending into North Carolina, it is the nation’s longest linear park and links Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

A resident at The Lodge at Old Trail has tested positive for COVID-19.

Susan Nail, executive director of the senior living community, said Tuesday the female resident was tested while she was still at the Lodge and had been isolation, but the resident is now at the hospital on an “unrelated diagnosis.”

“We didn’t find out the results of the test until after she got to the hospital,” Nail said.

Nail declined to say whether the resident lives in the senior living, assisted living or memory care portion of the facility. She said they learned about the positive test result last night.

“We’re just following all of the Virginia State Department of Health guidelines and the Department of Social Services guidelines, so that’s quarantining to rooms, that’s no communal dining and that’s taking temperatures of the residents and staff,” Nail said.

While 4 in 5 people recover from the COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, without needing special treatment, according to the World Health Organization, older people and people with underlying medical problems — such as high blood pressure or diabetes — are more likely to develop serious illness.

Residential nursing homes emerged as potential hotspots for the virus in several states. Henrico County announced today that two residents of the Canterbury Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center have died, while eight other residents and three workers of the nursing home have tested positive.

In a March 12 Facebook post, the Lodge at Old Trail said it “instituted a self-imposed quarantine for all visitors to The Lodge, including our friends and families.”

“At this time only essential vendors are allowed in the building,” the post said. “This quarantine will be in effect until April 1st, when we will reevaluate the policy. We, at The Lodge, are constantly monitoring information coming from the Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention], The Virginia Department of Health, and the Virginia Department of Social Services. While at this time we have NO cases of Influenza, Corona Virus or any other infectious disease, we want to be proactive in the protection of our residents.”

Nail said they’re in the process of working with the health department to contact people who were potentially exposed.

TJHD update

Tuesday, the Thomas Jefferson Health District announced it has 14 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2 clinically diagnosed cases.

The 14 COVID-19 cases are in the following localities:

Charlottesville: 3

Albemarle: 6

Louisa: 3

Nelson: 1

Fluvanna: 1

Clinical diagnoses can be made when a person who has had close contact with a lab-confirmed case, like a spouse, starts exhibiting symptoms, the district said. One of the clinical cases lives in Charlottesville and one of them lives outside of the health district.

Reservoir closed

The Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority on Tuesday said the recreational area around Sugar Hollow Reservoir is closed until further notice. The authority said the closure follows a spike in the number of visitors to the reservoir.

“We are concerned that the increased visitation violates the CDC recommendations for social distancing of at least six feet apart,” the release read.

RWSA staff and emergency personnel will be the only people with access to the site during the closure.

Charlottesville update

Fire Chief Andrew Baxter and city spokesman Brian Wheeler appeared on a webinar Tuesday to discuss the city’s response to the virus.

Baxter said none of the city’s public safety employees have been tested positive or exposed to the virus. Councilor Sena Magill has shown symptoms after attending a conference in Washington, D.C., with Councilor Lloyd Snook and is awaiting her test results.

Baxter said first responders aren’t yet facing a critical supply shortage of personal protective equipment, such as face masks. Local medical professionals have raised the alarm that supplies are dwindling and have asked the governor for more support.

“That’s a moving target,” he said. “We have enough right now.”

Asked about how the virus might affect his department’s request for $1.3 million to fund 12 new firefighters in the budget for fiscal 2021, which starts July 1, Baxter said he’s focused on responding to the issue at hand. The issue was contentious before the virus halted the budget process.

Snook and Mayor Nikuyah Walker have indicated in the past week that the city could see revenues decline by at least $5 million with businesses closing to quell the spread of the virus.

Tuesday was the pilot for the video program and the first official episode will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday featuring Richardson and Walker.

Madison, Orange

On Monday, the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health district announced a resident of Madison County had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19.

The patient, a man in his 50s, has mild symptoms and is being treated as an outpatient while isolated from the general public, officials said. He previously was identified as a close contact of a confirmed case, was quarantined prior to becoming symptomatic and was tested as soon as symptoms appeared.

The patient, also a male in his 50s, had recent domestic travel to an area with sustained transmission. He is being treated as an outpatient while isolated from the general public, according to a news release. The health district is working to contact those who may have had close contact with him.

Albemarle lunches

Albemarle County Public Schools is expanding its distribution of breakfasts and lunches to students who qualify for the federal government’s free and reduced-price meal program, according to a news release.

Beginning Wednesday, meals for students and siblings 18 and younger will also be available in the urban ring near the pool sites at Abbington Crossing Apartments on Old Brook Road and Mallside Forest Apartments on Mallside Forest Court; in the upper-back parking lot at Granite Park Apartments on Peyton Drive; and at University Heights Apartments on Colonnade Drive.

In the southern portion of the county, student meal service will extend to the Boys & Girls Clubs at Southwood in Charlottesville and also at James River Boys & Girls Club in Scottsville; Wilton Farm (near the main office); Cismont Market in Keswick; and Red Hill and Stone-Robinson elementary schools.

In the western part of the county, meals will be available at Claudius Crozet Park.

Meals will be distributed from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Albemarle, Monticello and Western Albemarle high schools Sutherland and Walton middles, and Woodbrook Elementary times will vary at the new locations.

Meals will be available from 11 to 11:30 a.m. at six locations, including Abbington Crossing; Claudius Crozet Park; Granite Park; James River Boys & Girls Club; Southwood Boys & Girls Club; and Wilton Farm.

Meals will be distributed from 11:30 a.m. until noon at Mallside Forest Apartments; from 11:40 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. at University Heights; and from 11:45 a.m. until 12:05 p.m. at Cismont Market.

At Red Hill Elementary, meals will be distributed between noon and 12:30 p.m., and at Stone-Robinson Elementary, distribution is scheduled from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Those who qualify for free or reduced-priced meals in Albemarle but cannot access the current sites should call (434) 295-0566.

More limitations

All tennis and basketball courts in Albemarle County parks and schools are closed until further notice, according to a news release from the county.

Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway remain open, but with modifications and reduced services. The National Park Service has temporarily waived fees for attendees, but asks nature-lovers to maintain social distancing and not crowd popular destinations.

The Blue Ridge Parkway announced Monday via a news release that all public restroom facilities on the Blue Ridge Parkway are closed as well as the Paul Wolfe A.T. Shelter located near Afton.

Backcountry campers and Appalachian Trail thru-hikers with reservation for the A.T. Shelter are authorized to use a tent outside the shelter to provide for social distancing, per the release.

No end date for the restriction has been set but the parkway said it will notify the public via social media when full operations resume.

Recommended for you

Load comments