Friday’s (April 3) COVID19 Update #4 has generated the same question from many of our property owners. Specifically, people want to know where our positive case or cases may be located within the Wintergreen community. The honest answer is the information is so heavily protected by privacy laws that even we don’t know.
When a person presents at a clinic or hospital with COVID symptoms they become “persons under investigation” (PUI). PUI cases are tracked by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). As soon as test results come back, and often while results are awaited, VDH staff begins an exhaustive process called “contact tracing”. VDH staff contact and interview anyone that may have come into contact with the PUI and make quarantine recommendations. All of this is handled by the VDH and the WPOA staff and Board are not privy to the information. Once VDH knows for sure we have a positive case residing in our community we are notified that the case exists. We are notified 30 minutes before the number is reported to the media. Please keep in mind, a person could be confirmed in another health district and then choose to quarantine at their Wintergreen home, and we would not be notified.
Please understand the difference between “confirmed positive” and “presumed positive”. Before tests were available plenty of people were evaluated by physicians, presumed positive, and sent home for recovery. Many of these cases were likely never reported to the Virginia Department of Health.
We have all been living with COVID around us for weeks. The only thing that has changed is now we know for sure. In some ways it’s regrettable that Nelson County took so long to fill in on the State’s COVID-19 map because the entire time it was shown as not having a case, and perhaps people didn’t take the situation seriously. The virus is present in our community. The patients have the same privacy rights as any other patient with any other illness. There truly is no reason to panic. Stay at home, maintain that six feet, and wash your hands. Together (but not too close together) we will get through this.
Your WPOA Board of Directors