TUCKER COUNTY, W.Va. — Two residents of Tucker County remained in quarantine at home after receiving confirmation on Thursday that they had the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, the respiratory illness that’s spreading across the United States.
James Snyder, administrator for the Tucker County Health Department, said the two were a married couple, a 52-year-old man and 60-year-old woman, who had recently traveled outside of West Virginia.
Snyder provided no other identifying details.
He said their cases were linked to a confirmed case in another state and the two had been “fully cooperative in following proper protocol to protect their neighbors and community.
The couple contacted the Tucker County Health Department when they returned home.
“We advised them to go into self-quarantine and we observed them until there came a point that they needed to be tested or we felt that they should be tested, they wanted to be tested,” said Snyder.
“They followed quarantine — 100 percent.”
The positive test results were returned late Thursday afternoon.
“They will be under quarantine until they meet the requirements from the CDC for release from that quarantine,” Snyder said.
In general, quarantines have lasted 14 days.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath which may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days following exposure.
Those considered most at risk were older people with underlying medical conditions.
People with symptoms were being instructed to call their doctors or healthcare providers for referrals to available testing locations across West Virginia.
The two Tucker County cases were among the five positive cases being reported in West Virginia as of Friday morning, according to the state Department of Health and Human Resources.
“We’ve been preparing for this. It’s been all around us,” Snyder said. “We’re doing everything we can to prevent multiple cases, but we’re not surprised to see cases.”
The other early confirmed cases were one in Jefferson County, one in Mercer County and one in Monongalia County.
Health officials have determined COVID-19 can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes.
Those droplets may land on surfaces and transfer from there when someone them and touches their eyes, nose or mouth.
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent or antiviral medication to treat COVID-19.
To prevent transmission, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended the following measures:
– Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
– Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve and not your hands when coughing or sneezing.
– Avoiding exposure to others who are sick.
– Staying home when you are ill.
“At this time, we all need to work together and do what we need to do to protect our neighbors and our communities,” said Snyder.