In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, a medical staff member wearing protective a suit works in the department of infectious diseases at Wuhan Union Hospital in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. Hong Kong’s leader announced Tuesday that all rail links to mainland China will be cut starting Friday as fears grow about the spread of a new virus. (Xiao Yijiu/Xinhua via AP)
Last Thursday, a 20-year-old Missouri woman who had been studying in Italy tested positive for the Wuhan Virus, becoming the first case in the state.
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page held a press conference on Sunday evening and reported the patient’s father was told by County health officials “that he must remain in his home or they will issue a formal quarantine that will require him and the rest of his family to stay in their home by the force of law.”
Nevertheless, this man and another daughter attended a father-daughter dance on Saturday night at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton. They also attended a pre-dance gathering at a private home.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that, as a result of this man’s colossally poor judgment, Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School were forced to close.
The message from the Villa Duchesne to parents, which is circulating on social media, warns students and parents, “If you attended the dance, please be attentive to any symptoms you are experiencing.”
The school’s Communications Director, Alice Dickherber, sent an email that said, “We are communicating with the St. Louis County Department of Public Health and sharing everything that we know with them. We will work with officials to ensure we are doing everything possible to mitigate risk and to maintain our safe environment. We are committed to the health and safety of our community and we will follow the guidance of public health officials as we plan for the coming days.”
In addition, several students from the John Burroughs School may have been exposed at the pre-dance gathering. Andy Abbott, the school’s Principal, notified students and parents by email. “The likelihood of any of the Burroughs students contracting the virus is extraordinarily low.” However, that school is now closed “until we have more information.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:
Health officials began the tedious work of determining with whom the woman had close contact since returning home from Italy.
The woman, in her 20s, flew into Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Monday, stayed with a friend, then took an Amtrak train home to St. Louis on Wednesday, according to Doug Moore, spokesman for Page. The woman attends an out-of-state school and had been studying abroad.
Because she was starting to feel ill, the woman contacted the St. Louis County Department of Public Health on Thursday, Moore said. She apparently stayed home and did not have contact with anyone until she was instructed on Friday to go to Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur for testing.
Hospital staff were notified before the woman arrived, so they were able to protect themselves and isolate her from others.
Officials had said the woman was quarantining herself, along with her parents, who were not showing symptoms.
I have to say it. What were they thinking?