2 new presumptive cases reported in Washington state, including high school student
Washington state health officials on Friday announced two new preliminary positive cases of the coronavirus illness COVID-19, including a high school student with no known travel history or exposure to known infected people.
The cases are being classified as presumptively positive because the tests have come back locally as positive but are pending confirmation from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testing, said Dr. Kathy Lofy, health officer for the Washington State Department of Health.
A high school student in Snohomish County became ill Monday with fever, body aches and a headache and was seen at two clinics, Snohomish Health District Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters said.
The student was feeling better and attempted to return to school Friday morning, but a local test result came back with a preliminary positive result. The student returned home before attending class, he said. The student is in home isolation and is doing well.
The last time the student was in class was before any symptoms. A small number of students had contact with the individual and will remain at home for 14 days and be monitored for symptoms, Spitters said. The school campus will be sanitized and closed Monday, and people at the clinics are being notified. Spitters urged people to remain calm and stay informed.
The second new case was a woman in King County in her 50s who had recently visited South Korea, returned to Seattle, went to work Tuesday and had symptoms, Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for Public Health — Seattle & King County said. The local test was done Thursday and came back Friday as preliminary positive.
The woman never needed medical care and took care of herself at home and is recovering, Duchin said. Her husband is well and without symptoms and is in home quarantine, he said.
Navy's Pacific Fleet to schedule 14 days between ports amid coronavirus spread
The U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet will schedule a minimum of 14 days between ports in order to monitor for symptoms of the coronavirus illness COVID-19, a defense official said.
There are no indications that any Navy personnel has contracted the coronavirus illness, the official said. The coronavirus illness has killed more than 2,800 people in mainland China as of Saturday morning local time, according to China’s National Health Commission. It has also spread to other countries.
The 14 days order is intended to permit adequate time for surveillance and monitoring for the development of symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Fourteen days is the same time period being used by health officials in quarantines in possible exposure cases.
Also Friday, U.S. Forces Korea said that the spouse of a U.S. service member stationed in South Korea who had tested positive for COVID-19 had also tested positive. She has been in self quarantine since Wednesday after her husband’s test, the military said, and was being moved to a U.S. military hospital.
Two students at Palo Alto school district sent home after possible parent exposure
Two students in the Palo Alto Unified School District in California’s Santa Clara County were sent home and will be excluded from school after a parent may have been exposed to the coronavirus illness COVID-19, the superintendent said.
Superintendent Don Austin said in a message to parents Friday that the district acted as a precautionary measure. One is a student at Palo Alto Senior High School and the other attends JLS Middle School, he wrote.
Austin stressed in an email that there are zero cases in the district, but "we have a parent who was exposed to a confirmed case."
"We have no parents, staff or students with reported symptoms," Austin said.
There are three confirmed cases in Santa Clara County, including one announced Friday that involved a person who does not have a travel history or any known contact with a traveler or infected person.
Palo Alto and Santa Clara County are in the San Francisco Bay area.
Trump says coronavirus is Democrats' 'new hoax'
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — At a political rally Friday, President Donald Trump insisted the government's response to the global coronavirus epidemic was "magnificently organized" and argued that foes in the Democratic Party ere exaggerating its dangers for political gain.
"This is their new hoax,” Trump told supporters on the eve of the state's Democratic primary. "Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus."
Attacking the White House’s response to the coronavirus has become the Democrats' "single talking point," he claimed.
The president has contradicted his own health officials on the potential of the disease's domestic spread, which they have described as almost inevitable.
Oregon reports presumptive case of coronavirus
Oregon health authorities say that they have the state’s first “presumptive case” of the coronavirus illness known as COVID-19 and that the patient has no known travel exposure and is likely an instance of community spread.
A local test of the person, who lives in Washington County and is being treated at a hospital, came back positive for COVID-19, but officials are waiting for a Centers for Disease Control test for confirmation, Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen said Friday.
"If the test comes back from Atlanta positive then we'll stop calling it presumptive and say it's a positive case," Allen said. "But the guidance from CDC is we should treat a presumptive case as a case until we have any further information."
The patient's age, gender or condition was not released, but they are an adult.
Allen said the person spent time in the Forest Hills Elementary School in Clackamas County but would not be more specific because of patient privacy.
Contact tracing is being conducted and is a top priority, Allen said. Health officials say they are prepared for cases of the coronavirus illness in Oregon.
Game Developers Conference postpones San Francisco event amid coronavirus spread
Organizers of the Game Developers Conference scheduled for next month in San Francisco have postponed the event amid a coronavirus outbreak that has spread from China to countries around the world.
Organizers in an announcement Friday did not explicitly mention the coronavirus or the illness caused by it, COVID-19.
But the announcement comes after Amazon Web Services pulled out of the conference because of concerns over COVID-19. The company called it a difficult decision. Microsoft, which makes the popular Xbox system, also announced it would withdraw.
"We fully intend to host a GDC event later in the summer," Organizers of the Game Developers Conference said.
Semester at Sea students fear being stuck on ship as coronavirus spreads around globe
Some 550 students taking part in the venerable Semester at Sea program have been trapped on a ship for about two weeks amid the spread of the coronavirus illness known as COVID-19.
"We feel completely confined, there's nothing around us,” student Kylie Menish said in a phone call from somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean. "It’s kind of an awful feeling not knowing exactly what the plan is."
Menish said they took off from San Diego aboard the MV World Odyssey on Jan. 4, and the plan was to make about a dozen stops on four different continents before reaching their final destination, Amsterdam, on April 20.
A spokeswoman for Semester at Sea said officials made the decision to divert from countries on the ship's itinerary "because of decisions out of our control or to give us the best possibility of entry into any future port on our itinerary."
Read the full story here.
At least 50 California residents self-quarantine in homes over potential exposure
At least 50 people in Riverside County, California, are under self-quarantine in their homes over concerns they may have been exposed to coronavirus.
All had recently visited Asia, mostly China, and arrived in the U.S. within the last two weeks, said Jose Arballo Jr., spokesman for the Riverside County Department of Health, adding that they had not traveled together.
None have exhibited symptoms, Abrallo said. The health department is closely monitoring each resident and checks in with them two to three times a day by text, email or phone calls. They will be monitored for two weeks and can leave their homes as soon as they are cleared.
Click here to read more about Americans in self-quarantine for coronavirus.
Coronavirus by the numbers, Feb. 28
As of now: The U.S. is at 63 cases, which includes nine recoveries. Globally, 84,094 cases have been confirmed, this includes more than 39,000 recoveries and more than 2,900 deaths.
In the last 24 hours, more than 700 confirmed cases, more than 50 deaths and more than 2,800 recoveries have been reported around the world, and at least four countries reported their first confirmed case.
New California coronavirus case had no connection to others, health officials say
A new coronavirus patient from Santa Clara County, California, had not traveled to China, was not related to two other cases in the region and had not been to Solano County, about 70 miles away, where the country's only other patient without a known source of infection resides, health officials said Friday.
“What we know now is that the virus is here, present at some level, but we still don’t know to what degree,” said Dr. Sara Cody, director of Santa Clara County's public health department, in a news conference Friday.
The two cases of possible "community spread" of the virus could mean that more people may have to stay home from work and school and follow essential hygiene practices, she said.
Santa Clara County officials are working to reconstruct the woman's recent contacts and travels in an attempt to determine where she picked up the virus.
Dr. Charity Dean of the California Department of Public Health announced the state has enabled eight public health labs capable of testing for the virus with faster results.