As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread internationally, New England states are preparing for potential outbreaks by monitoring people who have recently traveled to or through countries with widespread community transmission.
Depending on where a person traveled and the symptoms they present, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends different levels of monitoring, like self-monitoring or quarantine. Monitoring a person for symptoms does not equate testing them for the virus, according to the CDC.
Labs in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island and New Hampshire are now able to test for coronavirus. Previously, states had to send specimens to the CDC for testing.
2 Possible Cases of Coronavirus in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, there has been one confirmed case and one presumptive case of the virus. Twelve people have been tested for the virus since January, said the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Monday.
"We understand the concern this new virus is causing, and our state’s ability to quickly test for the virus is a positive development. The risk to the public from COVID-19 remains low in Massachusetts,” said Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel in a statement.
Just over 600 people have been subject to self-quarantine and 377 of those people have completed their monitoring with no symptoms.
No Cases of Coronavirus in Vermont
In Vermont, three people are being tested for coronavirus, according to the Vermont Department of Health.
Eighty-four people are being monitored for symptoms and 17 people have completed the monitoring process as of Tuesday afternoon.
Last week, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott directed Vermont Emergency Management to assemble an inter-agency task force to prepare for coronavirus cases in Vermont.
“This group will be able to develop a COVID-19 specific long-term response plan to support the execution of potential community mitigation measures in the case of an outbreak in Vermont,” said Vermont Emergency Management Director Erica Bornemann in a statement.
2 Possible Cases of Coronavirus in Rhode Island
In Rhode Island, there has been one confirmed case and one presumptive case of coronavirus and a third person is being tested, according to the Rhode Island Department of Health. The presumptive cases were on the same trip to Europe in mid-February. The 38 other people who went on the trip will be self-monitoring for 14 days.
Outreach to the people who were in direct contact with any of the cases is ongoing, according to the Rhode Island Department of Health.
No Cases of Coronavirus in Connecticut
Two Connecticut residents tested negative for coronavirus last weekend. According to Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, the CDC informed the Connecticut Department of Public Health of several residents, including three people from New Haven, who are now self-monitoring.
It is unclear how many residents are being monitored statewide and there are no confirmed cases of the virus currently, according to the governor.
2 Possible Cases of Coronavirus in New Hampshire
Both are adult males from Grafton County. Health officials said the first patient ignored directions to self-quarantine and attended a private, invitation-only event on Friday, meaning everyone at that event is now being asked to isolate themselves for 14 days.
New Hampshire health officials have said they are aware that some schools have students who traveled to Italy over February break and have instructed those students to stay home for 14 days.
No Cases of Coronavirus in Maine
In Maine, one person has tested negative for coronavirus and fewer than 10 people were being monitored as of Friday, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills has convened a team to coordinate the state's response to the potential spread of coronavirus.