New Hampshire's first coronavirus patient ignored orders to self-isolate

The first person presumed to have the new strain of coronavirus in New Hampshire went to a business school event, even though he was told to isolate himself, according NBC Boston.

The patient, an employee of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., is not a confirmed COVID-19 patient. The New Hampshire Public Health Laboratories conducted the test and identified the result as "presumptive positive," and the patient's specimen was sent to the CDC for confirmatory testing March 2. The patient returned from a trip to Italy and developed fever and respiratory symptoms within 14 days.

The patient was told to remain isolated at home, but health officials found that he had attended an invitation-only event Feb. 28 tied to Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business in Hanover, N.H.

Officials are contacting event attendees and telling them to stay isolated at home for 14 days. A second New Hampshire resident, who came into close contact with the first patient who tested presumptive positive for COVID-19, has also received presumptive positive test results for the virus. The second patient is also waiting for the CDC to confirm the result.

There were 175 to 200 people at the event, the general manager of the event location told NBC Boston.

"We expect additional cases may be identified that are related to this investigation," the state health department said in a statement.

Editor's note: This article was updated March 6 at 11:22 a.m.


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