An electron microscope image from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, shot in February 2020, shows the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (in orange) emerging from the surface of cells (green) cultured in the laboratory. The virus causes the COVID-19 disease. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S.

A Madison County man in his 50s has tested positive for novel coronavirus, the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District announced late Monday night.

The patient has mild symptoms and is being treated as an outpatient while isolated from the general public, the district said in a statement. He was previously identified as a close contact of a confirmed case, was quarantined before becoming symptomatic, and was tested as soon as symptoms appeared, officials said.

Health District staff members will contact anyone identified as a close contact of the man, and ask them to self-quarantine and monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days.

To protect patient confidentiality, no further information about the patient will be released, the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District said.

“The Virginia Department of Health, Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District and our health-care partners are working together around the clock to identify cases of COVID-19 in our communities across the commonwealth,” said Dr. Wade Kartchner, the district’s health director. “With each confirmed case, we identify potential contacts, assess their risk of exposure and recommend appropriate public health and medical measures.”

“As we continue to see new cases of COVID-19, it is critical that people follow the public health guidelines on social distancing and good hygiene,” Kartchner said. “Social distancing is one of the most effective strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We all have a duty, and an opportunity, to do everything we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones and those around us.”

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