Forty Nevadans were on cruise ship with coronavirus

(Photo: CDC) (MGN)
(Photo: CDC) (MGN)(KWQC)
Published: Mar. 5, 2020 at 10:12 PM PST
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March 6, 7:10 p.m. update:

Forty Nevadans were passengers on the Grand Princess cruise ship in which one Washoe County resident tested presumptive positive for the coronavirus, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services reported Friday.

Health authorities are contacting them to assess their health and see if they have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

The Washoe County man and passengers from other states have tested positive for COVID-19. The Washoe County man is in stable condition and is at home.

The passengers left the ship on Feb. 21.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified Nevada health officials on Wednesday and Thursday. They began assessing the passengers immediately, the state said.

“Our local health authorities continue to show that they are dedicated to the health of our communities, and the state is grateful for their swift response to connect with these passengers to assess their health,” Richard Whitley, director of the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement.

Original story:

The Washoe County Health District said the community is at "very low risk" of coronavirus, despite the first presumptive case in our area.

Health officials addressed the public Friday, March 6, 2020 at the Washoe County Commission Chambers, after confirming the case on Thursday.

The district described the man who tested positive as being in his 50s. The health district stressed that the case is not community transmission, and is travel-related. The man was linked to the Grand Princess cruise ship outbreak. The test has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation.

Kevin Dick with the health district said the man has family members who attend Huffaker Elementary School, and who were also on the cruise ship. Those people have been identified to the health district, and are in self-isolation, as is the man who tested positive.

There are no confirmed cases at Huffaker Elementary, the health district said. But the Washoe County School District said there are students showing flu-like cases, prompting them to close the school Friday.

Students showing symptoms identified as concern will be tested for COVID-19. The health district would not say how many students are being monitored.

Interim Superintendent Kristen McNeill said a cleaning crew deep cleaned Huffaker Elementary Thursday night, and another cleaning will be done Friday afternoon. McNeill said the district is waiting on test results and guidance from the health district before announcing when the school will reopen.

The health district said once the CDC confirms test results, that information will be made available to the public.

Dick urged the community to be vigilant and take precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, asking everyone in the community to "turn into a germaphobe." He encouraged people to elbow bump instead of shake hands. He also said to stay home if you do not feel well. Ultimately he said, "remain calm and wash your hands."


Copyright KOLO-TV 2020