Norfolk County woman tests positive for coronavirus, health officials say

Norfolk County woman tests positive for coronavirus, health officials say

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced its second presumptive positive case of COVID-19 on Monday night.

The woman is in her 20s and lives in Norfolk County. She recently traveled to Italy with a school group and was symptomatic, state health officials said. She is recovering at home.

Her test results came back positive at a state laboratory Monday night.

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A source told Boston 25 that the patient is a 27-year-old Cohasset woman who chaperoned a school trip that’s linked to two other positive cases of coronavirus in Rhode Island.

Test results will be sent to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If confirmed, this would be the second confirmed positive case of coronavirus in Massachusetts since the outbreak started in the United States in January.

Last month, a UMass Boston student became the first confirmed coronavirus case in Massachusetts. The man is in his 20s and lives in Boston.

While concerns about the virus continue to grow--with several businesses seeing a loss in patrons who are fearful of the spread of the virus--state leaders on Monday stressed that the coronavirus risk to the public remains low in Massachusetts.

“We are grateful this individual is recovering," Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel said in a statement. “We understand the concern this new virus is causing, and our state’s ability to quickly test for the virus is a positive development. The risk to the public from COVID-19 remains low in Massachusetts.”

Six people have died of coronavirus, all of them in Washington state. There have been more than 60 U.S. cases of COVID-19 confirmed.

Since January, Massachusetts public health officials have tested 12 residents, including the first confirmed case and now the first presumptive positive case.

Of those 12, three people have been tested since Friday, when the State Public Health Laboratory began testing patients for COVID-19.

As of last week, 608 people have been self-quarantined in Massachusetts because of COVID-19. Of those, 377 people have completed monitoring and are no longer quarantined, while 231 are currently quarantined, health officials said.

Coronaviruses are respiratory viruses and are generally spread through respiratory secretions (droplets from coughs and sneezes) of an infected person to another person. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and, in severe cases, pneumonia (fluid in the lungs). Information is still limited about how this novel coronavirus spreads. More information on COVID-19 is available at mass.gov/2019coronavirus.

Globally, more than 80,000 cases have been confirmed.

To prevent the spread of coronavirus, health officials are urging citizens to use common-sense precautions typically used to prevent the common cold and flu. They include washing your hands often, avoiding touching your eyes and face, disinfecting things that are frequently touched, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying at home when you feel sick.

The state also has more information on coronavirus here.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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