Department of Health gives update on presumed case of coronavirus


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Department of Health held a press conference to cover information around the presumed case of coronavirus.

In the conference Dr. Nate Smith, Secretary of Health told us that the patient is hospitalized in Pine Bluff and might have acquired the virus through out-of-state travel.

Smith said that this was not unexpected, and that ADH was looking for cases.

At this time they are not giving out identifiable information on the patient

ADH is currently working to give travel details of patient, including the spring break travel plans by the patient.

The presumptive lab test was done overnight Tuesday, and then was reported Wednesday.

The CDC lab is still working to confirm test.

ADH is working to increase availability to test people for the virus, and they are partnering with a private sector for testing.

The patient was in an intensive care situation which was isolated, but was not a patient under investigation.

Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, Medical Director of Immunizations and Outbreak Response then came to the podium to give us an update on finding more cases linked to this person.

Dillaha said they are working to identify any hospital personnel and their risk level to the public.

She also said they are working to identify more people who had contact, and recommend quarantine for those people who did.

Risk for medical personnel depends on if patient was wearing mask and if they were wearing the right gear (gloves, N95 mask, glasses)

Anyone within six feet of patient would be at risk for exposure, but you are not a risk if passed in the hallway.

You can watch the full conference in the video below.

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