A correction has been made to this article. Dr. Greene has amended the number of cases in the region. There are five, not six.
WINCHESTER — The number of people in the region diagnosed with the coronavirus increased to five on Tuesday — a woman in her 30s, two men in their 60s, a man in his 70s and a man in his 80s.
Two cases involve Frederick County residents and three involve Shenandoah County residents, according to Dr. Colin M. Greene, Lord Fairfax Health District director. The district encompasses Winchester as well as Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren counties. The first diagnosis in the area was on Saturday.
Greene said he didn't know the conditions of the people and wouldn't identify them due to medical privacy laws. Contact tracing on the whereabouts of the people before they were diagnosed is being done by health officials. Greene said he was unaware is anyone who came in contact with the infected people has self-quarantined.
The virus, for which there is no vaccine, was declared a global pandemic on March 11. Through Tuesday afternoon, it has killed 18,614 worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine Corona Virus Resource Center. That includes 534 in the U.S., according to the New York Times.
The number of diagnosed cases is expected to rise in the next few weeks in the U.S., including in Virginia where 290 people have been diagnosed and nine have died, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
"The curve is still going up and bending outward," Greene said, adding that it could be weeks before the num
bers level off or decrease in Virginia.
Until the numbers drop, Greene said people need to remain indoors except for exercise and essential trips outside such as for food or medicine. They should stay six feet away from people and wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before and after touching their face.
"All the requirements need to stay in place until this is very clearly coming under control," Greene said. "At least at the Virginia level."