Rhode Island patient tests positive for the coronavirus after traveling to Italy

Rhode Island announced Sunday that a patient has tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the first possible case in the state.

The Department of Health said the case, a person in their 40s, is presumed positive and will have to be confirmed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news station WCAU reported.

The patient, whose identity wasn’t released, traveled in mid-February to Italy, where there’s been a recent outbreak of the virus, which is known as COVID-19.

“We fully anticipated having a first case of COVID-19,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, the outlet reported.

Health officials have begun reaching out to those who have been in contact with the patient, urging them to self-quarantine themselves for two weeks with public health supervision.

“We are not seeing widespread community transmission in Rhode Island, and the general level of risk for Rhode Islanders is still low,” said Alexander-Scott. “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.”

Meanwhile, the first coronavirus death on US soil was reported Saturday in Washington state — as the number of confirmed cases climbed to 71, according to CDC officials.

The majority of the cases — 44 — are patients who were evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.

The others have been mostly on the West Coast, including 12 confirmed cases in California and six in the Seattle area.

There have been also cases in Illinois, Wisconsin, Oregon, Texas, Arizona and Massachusetts.

With Post wires

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