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2 new coronavirus cases identified in Washington state, 1 is from unknown origin


SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state health officials announced two new coronavirus cases Friday night, a woman who had recently traveled to South Korea and a high school student with no known exposure to the disease whose school will be closed and sanitized.

Neither people were seriously ill, authorities said.

The high school student attends Jackson High School in Everett, Washington, said Dr. Chris Spitters of the Snohomish County Health District. The student had not traveled recently, and authorities were unsure how that person contracted the disease.

“It is concerning that this individual didn’t travel and acquired it in the community,” Spitters said. Officials are investigating to determine who the teen may have come into contact with.

The teen became ill Monday with symptoms including a fever and body aches, Spitters said. The teen was quarantined at home “and doing well,” Spitters said.

He had stayed home from school and only had contact with a small group of schoolmates. Those kids will be monitored and quarantined, Spitters said.

Authorities said Jackson High, located about 22 miles (35 kilometers) north of Seattle, would be closed Monday for cleaning.

The other case in Washington was a woman in in King County in her 50s who traveled to South Korea earlier this month, authorities said. She and her husband, who currently has no symptoms, are also currently quarantined at home.

She had gone to work for one day after returning from South Korea and then stayed home after experiencing a headache, nausea and a sore throat. She never needed medical care and like the vast majority of people is recovering, said health officer Dr. Jeff Duchin with Public Health – Seattle & King County.

Officials are conducting an investigation at her workplace.

Earlier Friday, Oregon confirmed its first coronavirus case, a person who works at an elementary school in the Portland area, which will be temporarily closed.

“The case was not a person under monitoring or a person under investigation. The individual had neither a history of travel to a country where the virus was circulating, nor is believed to have had a close contact with another confirmed case — the two most common sources of exposure,” the Oregon Health Authority said in a statement.

The Lake Oswego School District sent a robocall to parents saying that Forest Hills Elementary will be closed until Wednesday so it can be deep-cleaned by maintenance workers.

Last month Washington state had the first U.S. patient infected with coronavirus. The unidentified man fell sick after returning home from a visit to China and was admitted to the hospital on Jan. 20. He fully recovered.

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