2 new coronavirus cases identified in Washington state

Coronavirus

The new cases were discovered in Snohomish and King Counties

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. According to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, a wide share of Americans are at least moderately confident in U.S. health officials’ ability to handle emerging viruses, and more express concern about catching the flu than catching the new coronavirus. (NIAID-RML via AP)

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state health officials announced two new coronavirus cases Friday night, a woman who had recently traveled to South Korea and a high school student whose school will be closed and sanitized.

The high school student attends Jackson High School in Everett, Washington, said Dr. Chris Spitters of the Snohomish County Health District. The student had not traveled recently, and authorities were unsure how that person contracted the disease. The student, who is under the age of 18, visited the Seattle Children’s North Clinic on Monday, Feb. 24. That person is now at home in isolation, according to the Washington Department of Health.

Jackson High School will be closed on Monday “to allow three days for deep cleaning,” said Washington DOH.

The other case in Washington was a woman in King County in her 50s who had recently traveled to South Korea, authorities said. The DOH clarified that while the case is believed to be travel-related, officials don’t know for certain how the new case was infected.

“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,” said Washington State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy. “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.”

The presumptive cases come from positive tests at public health labs and are pending confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both patients weren’t seriously ill.

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