Novel coronavirus: Chicago couple who tested positive for virus released from isolation

CHICAGO -- A Chicago woman and her husband, who became the United States' first person-to-person transmission of the new virus from China, have been released from home isolation, health officials said Saturday.

The couple was released from a suburban Chicago hospital on Feb. 7 and remained in home isolation until Friday, according to a statement from the city's Department of Public Health.

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"We believe both patients can now safely return to their regular activities, including work, without restrictions," Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the health department, said in the statement. "They have now had multiple rounds of negative testing for the virus and are clinically well. They do not need to wear masks, and neither does anyone interacting with them. They have been cleared."

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The couple's identities have not been released. The statement issued Saturday by health officials said no further information will be shared about them.

The World Health Organization has named the illness COVID-19, referring to its origin late last year and the coronavirus that causes it. The outbreak has infected more than 69,000 people globally.

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The woman, who is in her 60s, traveled to the central China city of Wuhan in January and began feeling ill several days after returning.

She was confirmed as the first Illinois case of the novel coronavirus on Jan. 24. Her husband, who is also in his 60s, was confirmed on Jan. 30 as the first person-to-person transmission of the virus in the U.S.
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