Health officials in Douglas County, Oregon, said that the "superspreader actions" of one individual resulted in two separate coronavirus outbreaks that left seven people dead. They said that the person, who was not identified, had symptoms of COVID-19 but showed up to work anyway.
Officials did not say where the person worked or what their job was.
"Recently, it was conveyed to us that the root cause of two separate local COVID outbreaks were likely the result of a single person knowingly going to work when they were sick, and then testing positive for the COVID-19 virus," the Douglas County COVID-19 Response Team said. "One of those outbreaks has resulted in seven deaths, and the other recent outbreak has placed over 300 people/families in quarantine."
Authorities are concerned that people are unwittingly putting other people at risk by going to school and work when they have mild symptoms associated with COVID-19.
"The latest and most concerning trend is that we are seeing cases where residents are choosing to go to work and school when they are still sick," said Bob Dannenhoffer, a public health officer in the county, in a statement to The Oregonian. "We can't even imagine the tremendous remorse these people are feeling right now, and we sympathize with them."
Officials are advising anybody who believes they may be sick to stay home as a precaution.
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