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Berkeley resident tests positive for coronavirus


This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (pink) cultured in the lab. Credit: NIAID-RML

BERKELEY, Calif. (KRON) — Health officials announced Tuesday that a resident of Berkeley has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

This is Berkeley’s first coronavirus patient.

The infected person returned to Berkeley on Feb. 23 from one of the growing number of countries with a COVID-19 outbreak, according to City of Berkeley Health Officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez.

The patient was concerned about being exposed while traveling so they stayed at home in a voluntary self-imposed quarantine, health officials said.

Health officials are investigating whether the individual had contact with others.

“While the risk of infection remains low, the expanded presence of the virus in our community is a reality we should all prepare for,” said Dr. Lisa Hernandez. “There are steps that all of us in the community can take now to improve basic hygiene and also prepare for a wider spread in the future.”

Officials are reminding the public to practice good hygiene:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water
  • stay home when sick
  • don’t touch your face with unwashed hands
  • cover coughs with a tissue or your elbow

Practicing these everyday behaviors will slow the spread of the disease, officials said.

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