Two immediate relatives of a Missouri woman who has tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday broke the quarantine her family had been placed under to attend an event on March 7th.
“The patient’s father did not act consistently with the health department’s instructions,” St Louis County Executive Sam Page told reporters on Sunday. “Instead, last night he decided to take his other daughter to a school function.”
There are currently at least 566 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States across 34 states. 22 people have died.
The Missouri patient, who is in her twenties, is the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the state. She fell ill upon returning home from a trip to Italy on March 2nd, and was tested for the virus on March 5th. The woman and her family were advised to self-quarantine while she awaited her results.
Those results came back positive on Saturday. Her father broke quarantine that same night to attend a father-daughter dance put on by his youngest daughter’s school, Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School, at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton, St. Louis Public Radio reports.
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Villa Duchesne canceled classes on Monday after receiving word of the student’s connection with a coronavirus patient. Director of Communications and Marketing Alice Dickherber said the school does not yet know for how long it will remain closed. The school did not immediately respond to TIME’s request for comment.
“We are aware of news reports and have contacted health authorities to obtain their guidance,” the Ritz-Carlton hotel tells TIME in a statement. “Meanwhile, we are taking additional steps to perform enhanced cleaning of hotel areas where the event was hosted. The wellbeing of our guests and associates is of paramount importance.”
While the woman’s relatives have not shown symptoms of the virus, people who have been exposed to someone with coronavirus are considered at “medium risk” and should self-isolate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
On Sunday, county officials were made aware that the father broke quarantine and reiterated in a letter to the family that they must self-isolate. Health officials will “issue a formal quarantine that will require him and the rest of his family to stay in their home by the force of law,” Page warned at a press conference on Sunday.
Quarantines are set to last for 14 days and patients are expected to limit all contact with people and animals.
“The way the family has reacted to this situation is really a tale of two reactions,” Page said. “And a study of how people should and should not react to the coronavirus.”
This is not the first case of someone breaking coronavirus quarantine in the United States. On Feb. 28, a New Hampshire man who had tested positive for the virus broke quarantine to attend a Dartmouth event at a venue in Vermont. Health officials have since asked all other guests present at the event to self-quarantine.
“Quarantine means stay in your home,” Page said.
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