DELAWARE - Gov. John Carney on Friday directed all Delaware public schools close from March 16 to March 27 amid mounting COVID-19 concerns.
The news comes after Delaware health officials announced three new presumed positive cases of coronavirus, raising the state total to four.
Over the next two weeks, the State of Delaware will work with school leaders and public health experts to create a plan for Delaware students and educators as this coronavirus outbreak continues.
The patients are reportedly University of Delaware students who contracted the virus at an off-campus gathering. According to the university, the students came into contact with a faculty member who tested positive for the virus in February.
The faculty member, a man over the age of 50, became the state's first presumed positive case of coronavirus on Wednesday. The man was exposed to another confirmed case of COVID-19, but officials did not specify which state.
According to officials, the man is not severely ill and self-isolated at home as soon as symptoms appeared. The individual was exposed to another confirmed case of COVID-19 in another state.
Meanwhile, the University of Delaware students are reportedly receiving medical attention and remain in a quarantined environment.
The University of Delaware is moving classes online for the rest of the semester or until further notice. In order to prepare for this move, the university is suspending classes for the rest of the week.
Earlier that same day, officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of COVID-19 an epidemic.
“We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO chief in hopes of impressing upon the world the severity of the coronavirus.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW
The Department of Health is giving few details about patients. It is not saying how many samples it is testing, how many negative tests it has taken or how many people it is monitoring under quarantine. It is also not saying where precisely someone traveled when they were exposed.
At least three medical personnel who treated people who tested positive have also been quarantined, newspapers have reported.
The map below illustrates where confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus exist across the world. See mobile version here.
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