LOCAL NEWS

Two new cases of coronavirus in Washington state

Feb 28, 2020, 8:52 PM | Updated: Feb 29, 2020, 12:21 pm
coronavirus...
(Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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Health officials say there are two new cases of coronavirus in Washington state.

The cases are classified as “presumptive positives,” which means the tests came back as positive from the Public Health Laboratory and are pending confirmation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)

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One case involves a teenager in Everett with no travel history. He is a presumptive positive and is currently in home isolation.

Health officials don’t know how or where the teenager was infected, and are working on identifying anyone the teen may have come into contact with.

The student attends school at Jackson High School in the Everett School District. The superintended has announced the school will be closed on Monday to allow three days for deep cleaning.

The school sent out a statement to parents on Friday night. In part, it reads:

The student was not in school most of this week, but was on campus briefly this morning. The few students they were in contact with have been notified and will remain home for 14 days with symptom monitoring by the Snohomish Health District. The student has a sibling at Gateway Middle School who is not symptomatic, but out of an abundance of caution, is being tested and will remain out of school in quarantine until tests results are back.

We will continue to follow the authorities’ recommendations on how to proceed and keep all of our student’s healthy. This is a rapidly-changing situation, but please be assured the health and safety of our students are of utmost importance and we will keep everyone informed.

The SAT test was scheduled at Jackson High School for Wednesday, March 4. School officials rescheduled to Tuesday, April 14.

The second case involves a King County woman in her 50s who recently traveled to Daegu, South Korea. Her status is also presumptive positive and she is in home isolation.

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“Now that we are able to expedite test results here at the Public Health Lab in Shoreline, we’re getting results on suspected local cases a lot faster,” State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy said in a press release. “Given the extent of global spread, we expect to identify more individuals with COVID-19 in Washington. We want to emphasize the importance of practicing good health habits.”

Healthcare systems say they’re preparing to see more patients than usual and are working closely with school districts on how to stay safe and take preventative measures.

A Snohomish County man was confirmed in January to be the country’s fist documented case of coronavirus. He is said to have fully recovered, the Snohomish Health District announced last week.

That first patient was reportedly traveling through Sea-Tac Airport after a trip to China near the Wuhan region. He was initially hospitalized with symptoms the week before a coronavirus diagnosis was confirmed. He spent a couple weeks in an isolation unit at the Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, and then was quarantined for a few weeks at home.

Earlier Friday, Oregon confirmed its first coronavirus case, a person who works at an elementary school in the Portland area, which will be temporarily closed.

Earlier this week, the San Francisco Bay Area reported two cases where the source of infection wasn’t known. The older woman was hospitalized for a respiratory illness, and rapid local testing confirmed in one day that she had the virus, health officials said.

The California Department of Public Health said Friday that the state will receive enough kits from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to test up to 1,200 people a day for the COVID-19 virus — a day after Gov. Gavin Newsom complained to federal health officials that the state had already exhausted its initial 200 test kits.

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The number of coronavirus cases in the United States is considered small. Worldwide, the number of people sickened by the virus hovered Friday around 83,000, and there were more than 2,800 deaths, most of them in China.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Two new cases of coronavirus in Washington state