The coronavirus has officially made its way to the east coast.
The Rhode Island Department of Health announced Sunday that it had confirmed a “presumptive positive” case of COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus.
Health officials said the patient is a 40-year-old man who traveled to Italy in mid-February, an area of the world that has since become a hotbed for coronavirus diagnoses. The patient’s location was not released. However, officials said the person has had “limited travel” since returning to the U.S.
Outreach has begun to people who were in direct contact with the person, the Health Department says, and there are “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.”
The person’s immediate family members have been self-quarantining at home since it was determined that the person met the criteria, based on travel history, to be evaluated for coronavirus, the Health Department says.
The Rhode Island Department of Health said they are monitoring 40 people who have had contact with the patient.
However, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) and said at a news conference Sunday that there is no reason to panic.
“The general level of risk for Rhode Islanders is low,” she said. “There’s no need for panic. There’s no need to be frightened.”
As of Sunday, there are now more than 70 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S., mostly on the west coast. However, a third person in Illinois was also diagnosed with coronavirus on Saturday.
Unfortunately, a Seattle-area man in his 50s was the first confirmed America to die from coronavirus, Washington state health officials announced Saturday.