The Dane County resident sickened by the new coronavirus that has caused a global outbreak has recovered and been released from isolation, health officials said Friday.
The person has tested negative for the virus twice and is feeling well, meaning the individual “can leave isolation and resume normal activities,” Karri Bartlett, community health supervisor for Public Health Madison and Dane County, said in a statement.
On Feb. 5, local officials said the person returned to Dane County Regional Airport from Beijing on Jan. 30 and went directly to UW Hospital’s emergency room, where the person was evaluated, tested and sent home to begin isolation.
The person was Wisconsin’s first case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and the 12th case in the United States. The country has now had 15 cases, not including 47 cases of Americans sickened elsewhere, primarily on a cruise ship in Japan.
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Sixteen other people in Wisconsin have tested negative for COVID-19 and no results were pending as of Friday.
Local health officials tested the Dane County resident every other day and finally got two consecutive negative results, ending the need for isolation, Bartlett said.
“We wish to thank the person who has been in isolation at home,” she said. “As you can imagine, not leaving your home for nearly a month takes its toll, and throughout this period this person has been nothing but patient and understanding.”
Bartlett said the risk for getting COVID-19 remains low in Wisconsin. “Our staff are continuing to monitor incoming travelers from China and people who may have had contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus,” she said.
Coronavirus information is available online at publichealthmdc.com/coronavirus or by calling (608) 243-0587.
To prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the flu and the new coronavirus, the health department recommends:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.