The father and sister of a Missouri woman suspected of having coronavirus broke quarantine to attend a school dance. Then she tested positive.

Ilyas Tayfun Salci/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesA woman wears a mask in central London.
  • A Missouri woman in her 20s returned from Italy on March 2 feeling sick.
  • Heath officials told her family, repeatedly, to self-quarantine.
  • The woman did, but her father and sister decided to break quarantine to attend a school dance instead.
  • Now the woman is the state’s first presumptive positive for COVID-19.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When a Missouri woman came back from Italy feeling sick, health officials told her family to self-quarantine while she was tested for the new coronavirus.

While the patient responded to those requests, her father went to a school dance.

Now, that woman appears to have tested positive for the coronavirus, the St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said in at a press conference Sunday. State health authorities have given her a presumptive positive diagnosis which is awaiting confirmation from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We relied on common sense and goodwill toward the community to self-quarantine,” Page said. “The way the family has reacted to this situation is really a tale of two reactions … A study of how people should and should not react to the coronavirus.”

The family has since been told that if they do not heed the advice of health experts and stay home, they could be quarantined “by the force of law,”

The patient’s father and sister attended was a dinner dance with Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton on Saturday, according to KMOV. Officials said the man and his daughter left the dance as soon as they heard about the positive result.

Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School said in a statement to KMOV that the school will be closed Monday.

“We are always focused on prevention of the spread of germs on campus and will be cleaning tomorrow,” a spokesperson told the station. “Our full-time cleaning and maintenance staff are on campus each day, cleaning and sanitizing throughout the school day. We are cleaning continuously to prevent the spread of germs and we will make sure we are taking direction from public health officials as to any additional measures we should take.”

More than 110,000 people around the world have been infected with the coronavirus, and more than 3,800 have died as the outbreak continues to spread.

The US has reported at least 554 cases, including 46 passengers who were on the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Japan. The country has confirmed 21 coronavirus deaths: 18 in Washington state, two in Florida, and one in California.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says that washing your hands is one of the best ways to protect yourself from the coronavirus. Wash your hands for around 20 seconds to rinse away germs and avoid illness.

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