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Governor Says Coronavirus Cases Rise to 77, Blood Donors Needed

An ASL interpreter next to a man speaking at a podium
Gov. Northam at today's press briefing. (Photo: Ben Paviour/VPM)

State health officials say there are now 77 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Virginia. That’s up from ten just the previous day. The updates came during a now-daily press conference detailing the ongoing impacts of the pandemic. 

Health Commissioner Norman Oliver announced there are currently three outbreaks in Virginia, which means two or more cases can be traced to a common source or exposure.

One of those outbreaks is in James City County. Two others are in Richmond. 

Meanwhile, Northam said the American Red Cross is experiencing a shortage of blood because most of the mobile blood drives have been canceled.  He’s encouraging healthy Virginians to donate at fixed locations.  

“We are all focused on the coronavirus epidemic,” Northam said. “But car accidents or childbirth or emergency surgeries don’t stop. Our need for blood does not stop.”

Blood donors must be in good health. At this time, it is unknown if COVID-19 can be transmitted through blood, but the Food and Drug Administration says, in general,  respiratory viruses are not known to be transmitted through blood infusion.

The Virginia Department of Social Services also provided some guidance to daycare centers, many of which have closed. Social Services Commissioner Duke Storen said daycares should limit the number of people gathered in one place to ten, including children and staff.  

“We ask all the parents of the Commonwealth that if you are not an essential personnel that you stay home with your children like we are doing with schools to make available capacity for childcare centers to provide the necessary care to essential personnel,” Storen said. 

Storen also asked that daycare centers serve food in individual classrooms and stagger recess to keep kids separated.

Whittney Evans is VPM News’ features editor.
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