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Confirmed COVID-19 case in Orange

  • The Orange Armory at 135 East Main St., where the Orange Board of Health is located. The Recorder

Staff Writer
Published: 3/30/2020 5:06:14 PM
Modified: 3/30/2020 5:06:10 PM

ORANGE – The Board of Health on Sunday confirmed there is one known case of COVID-19, a new strain of coronavirus, in Orange.

In a public letter posted to the town’s website, Health Agent Matthew Fortier did not identify the infected individual but said those who have been in contact with the patient have been notified, “and all are being monitored and quarantined as appropriate.”

“If you have not been notified that you have been in contact with an infected person, then you are not at risk from them,” the letter states. “Privacy laws prevent us from disclosing names, addresses, or further information.”

The letter states the Board of Health is notified whenever a case is confirmed and the board maintains communication with the patient to monitor his or her case. The letter attempts to reassure residents the town’s departments and boards are working together tirelessly to ensure their community is protected.

“We will continue to keep the public informed and updated to the best of our ability as things change or progress,” the letter reads.

Board of Health member Jane Peirce said people should adhere to typical hygiene protocol regardless of whether they they they have become infected. She said these steps include keeping one’s hands sanitized and wearing gloves when appropriate. She also recommends what is called social distancing, the practice of standing the suggested 6 feet from a stranger to minimize the possibility of spreading COVID-19. Peirce said these are strange times for everyone.

“No living person has seen anything like this,” she said.

The virus likely started in a live market in Wuhan, China, though experts have not ruled out the possibility the pathogen could have been brought to the market by an already infected person, according to USA Today. The newspaper also reports gene sequencing analysis strongly suggests the virus “originated in bats and was transferred to humans through a yet-unidentified intermediary species.”

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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