A staff member at a Hudson Valley high school has tested positive for novel coronavirus, causing concern in the community.
Middletown Schools Superintendent Richard Del Moro announced this week that someone who regularly in the high school building has been infected by COVID-19 earlier this month. He was last in the school on Monday, March 9.
Del Moro said that as a precaution, anyone who was inside the Middletown High School between Monday, March 2 and March 9 and is symptomatic should contact their healthcare provider.
Middletown Schools, following an order from the Orange County Health Department and Executive Steven Neuhaus, will be closed between Monday, March 16 and Monday, March 30, at which point local, county and state health officials will assess the coronavirus outbreak and make a determination.
“People who were present on the Middletown High School campus need to be especially aware of any symptoms they have related to COVID-19,” Del Moro said. “It has been emphasized for weeks that the community spread component (of the virus) is real and should be taken seriously.
“In most cases of community spread, symptomatic people are walking around and have no idea they are infected. Here, on the other hand, we know of one person so people can at least be armed with the knowledge of what to look for.”
According to the CDC, symptoms of novel coronavirus include fevers, coughing, and shortness of breath.
Those symptoms typically take between two and 12 days to appear. Body aches, sore throat, and headaches are all also possible, but not guaranteed. Symptoms can last for up to a week or longer, depending on the severity of the case.
The virus first infects the cells lining one’s throat, airways and lungs and turns them into "coronavirus factories" that spread a number of new viruses that go on to infect more cells in the body.
Symptoms become more severe as the virus spreads through the body, eventually to the lower respiratory tract, which is why those with underlying medical conditions have proven to be most vulnerable to COVID-19.
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