Coronavirus Patient Breaks Quarantine in New Hampshire

Man diagnosed with COVID-19 was at a social event Friday
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2020 4:32 PM CST
Coronavirus Patient Breaks Quarantine in New Hampshire
An employee shows a face mask at a textile workshop in the Gamarra neighborhood of Lima, Peru, Wednesday, March 4, 2020.   (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

A New Hampshire man who was diagnosed with COVID-19 after traveling to Italy was instructed to self-quarantine. Instead, he attended an event on Friday, authorities have revealed. The unidentified hospital employee traveled to White River Junction, Vermont, for an invitation-only social event related to the Dartmouth Business School, and authorities are now recommending all other attendees of that event self-quarantine for two weeks, Time reports. Authorities also revealed a second New Hampshire man has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel 2019 coronavirus, and is believed to have contracted it from the man who broke quarantine. It is not clear whether transmission took place at the Friday event.

"An investigation of those who were in close contact with that individual is underway and all close contacts have been notified," Dartmouth says in a statement, adding that no students are believed to have been in contact with the New Hampshire patient. The man works at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and the hospital has identified staff that could have been exposed there, but it says it is not aware of any patients that might have been exposed. Vermont health officials say there are currently no confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, and the Vermont venue where the Friday event took place has been sanitized, it announced on Facebook. Meanwhile, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has issued an official order of isolation for the man who broke quarantine. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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