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Federal official says states have reported 60 coronavirus cases to CDC

A hand sanitizer dispenser was placed just outside the floor of the US Senate chamber after concerns about the coronavirus on Tuesday.
A hand sanitizer dispenser was placed just outside the floor of the US Senate chamber after concerns about the coronavirus on Tuesday.Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Twelve states had reported 60 coronavirus cases to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of Monday evening, the agency said Tuesday.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, provided the tally during a Tuesday afternoon briefing. She said the CDC will be updating its tally on its website at noon on weekdays.

“These data represent cases detected and tested in the United States through U.S. public health surveillance systems since January 21, 2020,” the CDC says on its site. “This includes both confirmed and presumptive positive cases reported to CDC. It does not include people who returned to the U.S. via State Department-chartered flights.”

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On Monday, the Globe reported that officials had said the number of the number of cases in the US had climbed to at least 91.

“CDC is no longer reporting the number of persons under investigation (PUIs) that have been tested, as well as PUIs that have tested negative,” the CDC site says. “Now that states are testing and reporting their own results, CDC’s numbers are not representative all of testing being done nationwide.”

Of the 60 cases reported to CDC, 22 are travel related, 11 are believed to be the result of person-to-person spread, and 27 remain under investigation, according to Messonnier.

She said the cases include a likely outbreak situation at a long-term care facility in Washington State, where six deaths have been reported to the CDC.

Messonnier said older people with underlying health conditions such as heart and lung diseases are more likely to develop serious issues if they become infected with the virus.

“We are particularly concerned about these people,” she said.

Messonnier stressed that if health care providers tell patients to stay home for 14 days, the patients should “please do that” unless they need medical care.

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“You may need to take a break from your normal daily routine for two weeks,” she said.

States reporting cases of the virus include Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin, Illinois, Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington, according to the CDC.

Massachusetts health officials said late Monday that a woman from Norfolk County had tested positive for the coronavirus. The patient, who is in her 20s, recently traveled to Europe, according to the state Department of Public Health.

The woman is “recovering at home,” according to the state, which said the risk to the public from the disease remains low. The state plans to send the woman’s specimens to the CDC.

If that agency confirms the result, it will be the second case confirmed in Massachusetts. The previous Massachusetts case involved a college student in his 20s who had traveled to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the virus. He is recovering well, state officials have said.

Material from prior Globe stories and the Associated Press was used in this report.



Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.