A college student who returned to her home in St. Louis County, Missouri from a trip to Italy recently became the state’s first known case of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
The student, along with her family, were ordered to quarantine at home. While she followed health officials’ instructions, two family members did not.
“The way the family has reacted to this situation is really a tale of two reactions, but a study of how people should and should not react to the coronavirus,” St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said during a press conference.
According to officials, shortly after returning home the student contacted the St. Louis County coronavirus hotline and was told to go to the hospital for testing. Once it was determined she did not require hospitalization she went home where she and her family members were instructed to self-quarantine.
However, the student’s father and younger sister violated the quarantine on Saturday when they attended a father-daughter dance at the younger sister’s school.
Anyone who attended the Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School Father-Daughter dance has been asked to stay home.
Those who attended the dance have been told to stay home and await further instruction from health officials regarding testing and self-quarantine.
Although the patient’s father and sister were asymptomatic, since they were in close proximity to someone with the virus they were advised to stay home.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, it can be tempting to leave, but a warning from Page illustrated how serious the matter is.
If family members do not follow orders to self-quarantine, officials can “issue a formal quarantine that will require him and the rest of his family to stay in their home by the force of law.”
How to protect yourself
While health officials are still learning how the coronavirus is spread, there are several measures the public can take when it comes to protecting ourselves against the virus.
The World Health Organization recommends washing your hands frequently with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, staying at least three feet away from anyone who may be sick, avoid touching your face, covering your mouth when your cough or sneeze, and staying home, if possible, when you’re sick.
If you’ve been to an area where the virus is spreading, many officials recommend staying home for 14 days.
Let this be a lesson to everyone, if you have been in contact with someone who may be sick with the coronavirus, please avoid attending any nonessential events.