Second Longwood student tests positive for COVID-19

Published 12:05 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2020

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A second Longwood University student has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. 

Matthew McWilliams, assistant vice president of communication for Longwood University, said the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) informed university officials Tuesday morning that a second student has received a positive test result. 

The release, sent out Tuesday, March 24, to all Longwood students, states the student lives off-campus and has self-quarantined since Wednesday, March 18. 

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McWilliams said VDH believes the student may have acquired the virus while traveling out of state the week after spring break, but the official origin of the virus is uncertain. 

As with the first positive case, VDH has already been in touch with identified contacts of the student prior to their self-quarantine. The organization is now following up directly with those contacts.

A release from Piedmont Health District Director Dr. H. Robert Nash Tuesday afternoon reiterated that VDH has confirmed a new case in the area. Nash’s release described the infected individual as “a Prince Edward County resident in his 20s.” To protect patient confidentiality, no other details could be provided at the time.

The release highlighted that the most effective ways to protect oneself against COVID-19 continue to include hand and surface hygiene, social distancing of 6 feet or more, avoiding close contact with groups, especially those of 10 or more, avoiding touching one’s face, staying home if sick and avoiding others who are sick.

It is important to note that this case is not yet reflected in the VDH website dashboard at, which is updated daily with cases recorded by 5 p.m. the
evening before.

Farmville Mayor David Whitus told The Herald that the Town of Farmville was notified about the case earlier that day and that town officials are dedicated to getting the news of any new coronavirus updates to residents as quickly as possible. 

“As soon as we know, the public needs to know,” Whitus said. 

Whitus urged community members to stay home if possible and practice social distancing otherwise.

Those with any questions or concerns about symptoms or possible exposure can call the local VDH office at (434) 392-3984, or dial the University Health Service at (434) 395-2102. 

Centra Southside Community Hospital has also set up a hotline at (434) 200-1225.

This is a developing news story. Stick with The Herald for updates.