University of Virginia Medical Center

Employees screen visitors at the University of Virginia Medical Center on Sunday. A $1 million grant from the Charlottesville-based Quantitative Foundation will allow UVa Health to expand production and use of its COVID-19 test.

As the Charlottesville area saw another case of coronavirus, the University of Virginia Medical Center prohibited visitors to inpatient units starting at 10 p.m. Sunday and increased its restrictions on visitors to outpatient facilities.

The Charlottesville area had 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which is caused by the coronavirus, as of Sunday evening, according to the Thomas Jefferson Health District.

The UVa Health System said that unit managers are allowed to make exceptions on the new restrictions for specific patients if the visitor has no symptoms. Exceptions include patients at the end of life, mothers in labor and pediatric patients.

The new restrictions on outpatient areas allow only one designated visitor for the duration of a patient’s stay.

The increased restrictions come on the heels of regulations announced on Saturday that require screenings for all who enter facilities and for clinic visits through April 6 to be rescheduled.

Local medical professionals have collaborated with SupportCville to coordinate donations of critical supplies amid the pandemic.

Equip Cville was launched Sunday to get residents in touch with professionals to donate supplies, particularly protective equipment, such as face masks and hand sanitizer.

On Saturday, hundreds of medical professionals signed on to a petition started by Charlottesville pediatrician Dr. Paige Perriello urging Gov. Ralph Northam to address the supply crisis.

SupportCville is a collaboration between WillowTree, a Charlotesville app developer, and local activists to create a centralized site that coordinates efforts to help the community during the pandemic.

To contact the health professionals, visit tinyurl.com/equipcville.

The petition asks the governor to funnel supplies currently sitting unused in closed schools, labs and businesses to hospitals; incentivize solutions; and establish clear communication lines between medical professionals and the Virginia Department of Health.

On Sunday, Northam said the Virginia Department of Emergency Management has shipped a major supply to emergency medical services, health districts and hospitals across the state. He also called on private companies to do more to help with supplies of gloves, gowns, masks and respirators, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Survey in the works

The University of Virginia’s Center for Survey Research is recruiting residents in Central Virginia to join its standing survey pool ahead of a planned survey on the virus.

BeHeardCVA is drafting a survey that will focus on how information has been shared and how the virus has affected everyday life.

Jane Foy, community ambassador for BeHeardCVA, said the survey should be available by the end of next week.

“This might be one of the most important surveys that we do,” she said.

BeHeardCVA participants are part of a standing pool of residents of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Louisa, Nelson and Greene who have agreed to be contacted about surveys. The effort, led by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at UVa, aims to more easily and affordably conduct representative surveys.

Foy said it takes about five minutes to sign up for free on the website. Respondents will not be identified by name in the results.

Those who want to participate can choose how they will be notified that the survey is live. Foy said it will stay public for a few weeks. The survey also will be available over the phone in Spanish.

To participate, visit beheardcva.org.

Local cases

The Charlottesville area had at least one new case of the virus reported on Sunday, with a second reported in Louisa County.

The case brings the local number of cases to 10, according to the Thomas Jefferson Health District.

The Virginia Department of Health reported 219 cases in the state on Sunday, with the 67 new confirmed cases marking the biggest day-to-day increase since the first case was reported earlier this month.

The state numbers have been lagging behind local health districts in reporting, but now are showing inconsistencies. VDH reported two cases in Albemarle County, although four were reported locally Sunday. The state also reported four in Charlottesville when local officials reported three.

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