Coronavirus

An illustration of coronaviruses morphology created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A Washington County couple who tested positive for COVID-19 had taken precautions on their recent trip to New York City.

The man and woman in their 60s were identified as the first cases of the illness in Washington County on Monday. The couple, who agreed to talk with the Enterprise if they were not identified, said they traveled to New York in early March for the Big East Tournament.

“We were following good sanitary precautions, using hand sanitizer and washing our hands a lot,” the woman said. "We rode the subway and looked around the city.”

They returned to Washington County on March 13 and began feeling ill March 16. They had similar symptoms to each other, something they say isn’t normal.

“We woke up with a sore throat — nothing horrible — and a dry, annoying cough,” she said. “It was full blown the next day.”

The Washington County couple have been self-isolating at home since March 18, according to the health department.

They were tested March 18. However, the test was lost so they were tested again March 20. They found out the results Monday.

“We are feeling pretty well,” she said. "We are fortunate — never had shortness of breath or any issues like that. We are very fortunate in that both of us are really pretty healthy."

The woman said, for her, it wasn’t much different than having a bad cold. Her husband ran a fever periodically.

On March 17, the couple learned someone on the trip with them had tested positive for COVID-19, so they contacted her husband’s brother, who is a physician.

Contact investigations were completed and those identified as close contacts were notified. All identified close contacts will self-quarantine and be actively monitored twice daily by public health officials for fever and respiratory symptoms.

Community exposures may have occurred at the following times and locations and are considered low risk:

• Family Fare. 238 8th St., Blair, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. March 15.

• DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 1434 316th Lane, Missouri Valley, Iowa, 1:30 to 3 p.m. March 16.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms — a fever, cough, fatigue and sore throat — or develop symptoms are asked to call their health care provider and notify them of any potential exposure to a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus. Those feeling sick should call ahead before going to a medical provider or an emergency room.

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