A seventh person has died from the coronavirus in Virginia.

A Virginia Beach man in his 70s died Monday from acute respiratory failure after testing positive for COVID-19, one of 18 cases in the state's largest city. The man had underlying health conditions, according to a news release from the state health department.

The man is the first COVID-19-related death reported by the Virginia Beach Health Department, which is conducting a "contact investigation" and is trying to identify the source of transmission.

COVID-19 Virginia graph

“It is a sad day in our city after learning a Virginia Beach resident has died of the virus. Our hearts go out to his family and friends,” said Virginia Beach Health Director Dr. Demetria Lindsay. “Elderly individuals and those with underlying health conditions are at greater risk of complications from COVID-19, including death. These at-risk individuals are strongly advised to take steps to minimize contact with others who are ill, practice social distancing, and stay at home as much as possible.”

Lindsay said that several recent cases in Virginia Beach "may represent the first indications of potential community transmission, the extent of which, would be determined by the outcome of the investigation."

“We must take action now," Lindsay said. "The choices of each of us affects our community. Public health practices by everyone are critical to slow and blunt the spread of COVID-19."

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