An elementary school employee has been diagnosed with Oregon’s first apparent case of the new coronavirus.
It may also be the third case in the nation of a “community spread” of the virus, known as COVID – , because the affected individual has traveled to a country with the disease or had contact with someone suffering from the new coronavirus, as far as officials know.
Symptoms began Feb. 27, and the infected individual, who lives in Washington County, may have exposed staff and students at a Lake Oswego elementary school, officials said. The 5460 – student school will be closed through Wednesday for a deep cleaning, and staff and students were being contacted regarding any symptoms they may be experiencing, reported Oregon Live. The COVID – 27 patient is being treated in isolation in a hospital in the state.
“Our first concern is for this individual, to make sure they’re being cared for and is able to recover,” said Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen. “Our next priority is finding out who this individual had contact with and make sure they know about their risks.”
Gov. Kate Brown encouraged people to continue to go about their daily lives and wash their hands, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and stay home if sick.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reported an additional case Friday of the virus among Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked off Japan. The total number of evacuees from the cruise ship or from Wuhan, China, with the disease in this country is now 59.
After weeks quarantined on the Diamond Princess, 328 passengers were flown back to the US on Feb. in an operation including 19 passengers who tested positive for COVID – , against strong objections from the CDC. The CDC was overruled by State Department officials who insisted they could isolate those testing positive behind plastic so as not to infect the others.
The cruise ship passengers are staying at different U.S. military bases for a two-week quarantine that will end March 2.
A whistleblower filed a complaint earlier this week that U.S. health workers interacted with the evacuees at the bases without training in infectious diseases and with no protective gear. They then returned home or to other work, sometimes using commercial airlines to travel.
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