COVID-19 in the US: Rhode Island reports first presumptive positive case

By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Rhode Island state health officials reported the state’s first presumptive positive case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The person is in their 40s and had traveled to Italy in mid-February.

Image/ National Atlas of the United States

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is coordinating closely with the hospital where this person is currently being treated and all infection control protocols are being followed.

“The Rhode Island Department of Health has been preparing for weeks to ensure that we have a structure in place to, to the best of our ability, limit or prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Rhode Island. We fully anticipated having a first case of COVID-19,” said Dr. Alexander-Scott. “We are not seeing widespread community transmission in Rhode Island, and the general level of risk for Rhode Islanders is still low. However, everyone in Rhode Island has a role to play in helping us prevent the spread of viruses, just like the flu. It is very important that people wash their hands regularly, cover their coughs and sneezes, and stay home if they are sick.”

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Outreach to the people who were in direct contact with this individual has already begun, with extensive efforts underway to ensure that they undergo a period of 14 days of self-monitoring for symptoms at home with public health supervision (quarantine). As long as anyone exposed to the individual does not have symptoms outside of their home setting, the virus cannot spread to other people in the community. This individual’s immediate family members have been self-quarantining at home since it was determined that, based on this person’s travel history and symptoms, the individual met the criteria to be evaluated for COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is managing contact tracing for people on this person’s return flight to the United States.

This individual had limited travel in Rhode Island since returning from Italy. This person had not returned to their place of work since returning from Italy.

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