The first case of the novel coronavirus in North Carolina has ties to a nursing home in Washington state that is currently at the center of a deadly outbreak of COVID-19.
The North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health confirmed the presumptive positive finding but final results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are pending, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced on Tuesday.
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The patient, from Wake County, “traveled to the state of Washington and was exposed at a long-term care facility where there is currently a COVID-19 outbreak,” officials said. “Local health department officials are identifying close contacts to monitor symptoms and contain [the] spread.”
The connection between the patient, who is “doing well and is in isolation at home,” and the nursing home wasn’t immediately clear.
All of the coronavirus-related fatalities in the U.S. — nine as of this writing — have occurred in Washington state. More specifically, the majority of cases in Washington involve patients who are residents of the Life Care Center in Kirkland, where there is currently an outbreak. Eight of the deaths have occurred in King County, where 21 of the cases are confirmed, while one of the fatalities occurred in Snohomish County, where six others have fallen ill, according to the state’s department of health.
Additionally, at least 27 firefighters and two police officers are quarantined – some of whom are showing possible COVID-19 symptoms – after responding to reports of patients falling ill at the nursing home.
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“I know that people are worried about this virus, and I want to assure North Carolinians our state is prepared,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement in response to the news. “Our task force and state agencies are working closely with local health departments, health care providers and others to quickly identify and respond to cases that might occur.”
Fox News’ Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.