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UPDATE: DHHS says there is a second presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in New Hampshire

State officials say the second individual was in close contact with the first person to test positive and is currently isolated at home.

NEW HAMPSHIRE, USA — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Wednesday that travelers from countries with a Level 3 travel alert (currently China, Iran, Italy and South Korea) are advised to stay home and monitor their health (i.e., self-quarantine) for 14 days after returning to the United States.

Travelers from countries with a Level 2 level travel alert (currently Japan) are advised to monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the United States.

This comes after the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) confirmed the second case of coronavirus in N.H. Tuesday evening. The announcement comes after the first case was confirmed on Monday.

Both individuals are from Grafton County and DHHS says the second individual was in close contact with the first person who tested positive. They are both currently isolated at home.

DHHS is awaiting the confirmation of the two presumptive positive test results by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

DHHS says in a press release that they have "begun a contact investigation for the second person who tested positive. We expect additional cases may be identified that are related to this investigation."

DHHS has determined that the first patient, despite having been directed to self-isolate, attended an invitation-only private event on Friday, Feb. 28. DHHS says they are contacting attendees who had close contact with the person during the event and notifying them to follow the recommended 14-day self-isolation.

Dr. Benjamin Chan, N.H. state epidemiologist, said at a press conference Monday that one of the four people being tested for coronavirus came back positive. He said since the person had recently traveled to Italy, health officials do not believe this represents wider spread of community transmission.

Dartmouth-Hitchock Health (D-HH) confirmed the first patient is an employee of D-HH Medical Center in Labanon, N.H, and is from Grafton County.

"The patient is currently isolated at home to limit ongoing transmission and is being monitored by the state for any worsening of symptoms," Audra Burns, media relations manager for D-HH told NEWS CENTER Maine in a statement. "Risk to patients coming into the medical center remains low at this time."

Burns said the medical center is working with the state and "have a clear plan on the travel pattern of this patient and to follow up with any others with whom the patient may have had contact since exposure."

Chan said the patient is experiencing mild symptoms and remains at home in Grafton County while health officials investigate.  

Burns said D-HH leadership has established assessment and planning/operational groups to actively address this issue and their High Threat Infection team has implemented its response plans.


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