Wait – What Is “Voluntary Quarantine”?

“Individuals who are in voluntary self-quarantine continue to be monitored by their local boards of health … “

BOSTON (WWLP) – A young woman has been identified as the first presumptive positive case of the coronavirus in Massachusetts.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the woman is in her 20s and had recently traveled to Italy with a school group. She was symptomatic and is recovering at home.

Her test results came back positive Monday evening and will be sent to the federal CDC for final confirmation. If confirmed, she would be the second confirmed positive case in Massachusetts since the outbreak began in January. The risk to the public remains low in Massachusetts, according to public health officials.

So far, 12 Massachusetts residents, including the first confirmed case and the first presumptive positive case, have been tested for the virus.

As of last week, 608 people have been in self-quarantine in Massachusetts for the virus, out of that number, 377 have completed monitoring and are no longer quarantined, while 231 remain quarantined.

There have been more than 60 U.S. cases of the coronavirus confirmed, a total of six people have died. Globally, 80,000 cases have been confirmed.

Although the risk of the novel coronavirus to Massachusetts residents remains low, and the risk of the flu is high, people are advised to take many of the same steps they do to help prevent colds and the flu, including:

Individuals who are in voluntary self-quarantine continue to be monitored by their local boards of health … Read more. 

[Our take … if it’s voluntary, it’s not a quarantine.  – Editor]

Orange County Declares Emergency Due to Coronavirus

The emergency declaration is “to ensure our county is prepared to deal with any possible infection or … outbreak in our county,” Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do said at Monday’s emergency meeting.

March 2, 2020

NBC Los Angeles – The Orange County Board of Supervisors Monday approved an emergency declaration and heightened training of healthcare providers and first responders as they brace for a potential influx of coronavirus patients.

The action came amid word that a crew of Orange County Fire Authority firefighters were placed in isolation at a station in Irvine after encountering a patient who was thought to possibly have the COVID-19 virus.

Test results came back late Monday afternoon showing the patient did not have coronavirus, so the four firefighters were released and sent home, according to OCFA officials.

The Engine Company 20 firefighters had transported the patient, who had traveled internationally and had symptoms similar to COVID-19, to an area hospital on Saturday night.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we isolated the crew and rigorously cleaned” their station and fire truck, Windsor said. “The crew remains isolated in the station until we receive the test results.”

The emergency declaration is “to ensure our county is prepared to deal with any possible infection or … outbreak in our county,” Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do said at Monday’s emergency meeting.

“The public may be a little confused about the level of alert they should have and how urgent this response should be, but we don’t have the luxury of taking a chance,” Do said. “We are responsible for the health of our residents, so what I’m asking for us to do as a county is to assess our readiness.”

Do pointed out there have been “logistical challenges” elsewhere as well as “delays and maybe some mistakes that were made, so we don’t want to be put in the same position.”

The increased training of healthcare providers in the county “is even more necessary now that we have heard over 100 healthcare workers in Solana County may have been exposed to coronavirus,” Do said. “So, of the 89 cases reported in the U.S. as of Sunday, 42 were detected and tested, and of those, 19 were travel-related and 19 were person-to-person.”

Do said it was “a little bit scary” that there are four cases which remain undetermined as to the transmission.

“There are reports of 600 individuals here in Orange County under voluntary quarantine,” Do said. “They are in a voluntary quarantine because they have traveled to mainland China recently.”

Do added, “But what of the others who traveled to Italy, Iran or South Korea?” Read more.