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First case of COVID-19 confirmed in Walla Walla County

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The first case of the COVID-19 coronavirus has been confirmed in a Walla Walla County resident, the Department of Community Health announced today.

A male in his 40s is under home isolation for 14 days until he is fever-free for 72 hours, officials said.

The Department of Community Health, an agency of Walla Walla County, is working to identify anyone who may have an increased risk from close contact with the patient.

The infection is not linked to foreign or domestic travel, officials said.

“We are surprised it has taken this long for a local case here in Wall Walla County,” said Community Health Director Meghan DeBolt. “We have been expecting this and are prepared. Regardless of where the case was exposed, everyone can and should be taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Until now Walla Walla County has had no confirmed cases. The number had not yet been updated on the department’s website as of this posting.

According to numbers last updated Friday, 35 tests in the community had returned negative, but test results were still pending for 143 others.

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Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 509-526-8321.

Vicki covers business and economic development, including tourism, the Port of Walla Walla and the Strictly Business column, as well as features. She has been reporting for the Union-Bulletin since late 2001.