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Two new COVID-19 cases detected in King, Snohomish counties

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Two additional people in Washington state have tested positive for COVID-19.

The first case was found in a high school student from Snohomish County with no known travel history to a region affected by the virus. 

The other case is linked to travel. The woman from King County had traveled to South Korea in February and fell ill shortly after returning. 

On Friday evening, state health officials announced testing at the state public health lab had detected the new cases. They are being classified as "presumptive" until testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta confirms the results. 

"We are going to find more individuals so we really believe that the risk at this point is increasing,” said Washington State Health Officer Kathy Lofy on Friday. 

The student from Snohomish County who is believed to have the virus became sick with a fever and body aches at the beginning of the week.

He returned briefly to Jackson High School in Everett on Friday when he started to feel better. He is recovering at home in isolation.

"There was no travel history associated with this,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, who is the health officer at the Snohomish Health District. “Our team is still in the midst of the contact investigation, so we still don't know the possible source of infection. Our staff have notified a very small number of students who came in contact with the individuals.”

Everett Public Schools has closed Jackson High School on Monday so it can be sanitized. The high school student also visited Seattle Children’s North Clinic on Monday and health care workers who may have been exposed are being tested. 

The student has a sibling at Gateway Middle School who is not symptomatic but is being tested and will remain out of school in quarantine until tests results are back, Everett Public Schools said in a letter to parents on Friday.

The King County patient never needed hospitalization and is recovering without complications. After returning from travel, she spent one day at work until noticing her symptoms. Those she came in contact with at her workplace are being notified.

Health officials say there are likely more cases in the state that they will discover as they continue to test.  

In January, Washington had the first known U.S case of the virus, but it was linked to travel. The patient was hospitalized and had since fully recovered.


News Coronavirus Coverage
Will Stone is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.