Amtrak is notifying passengers and employees who may have been on a train carrying a passenger who may have the coronavirus. That train traveling from Chicago to St. Louis last Wednesday stopped at Uptown Station in Normal.
Amtrak issued a statement on its website Sunday indicating the company is taking precautionary measures and working with public health and emergency management teams to share the most up to date information.
“At Amtrak, safety is our top priority. We have received information from St. Louis County, Mo., that an individual who traveled on Amtrak train 303 (Chicago – St. Louis) on March 4, 2020, has tested presumptive positive for the coronavirus,” the statement read.
Amtrak added it has taken the train out of service for comprehensive cleaning and disinfection and is working to do a thorough disinfection of the Chicago and St. Louis stations.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported the woman was taking the train home after flying to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. The newspaper report indicates the woman is in her 20s and has been quarantining herself along with her parents. They are not showing symptoms of the virus.
The St. Louis County woman is presumed to be the first person with the coronavirus in Missouri. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams said the woman is in her 20s and recently returned from Italy, one of the countries with a large number of coronavirus cases. After she returned she developed a cough and fever and contacted county health officials. They referred her to a hospital. Williams said he doesn’t think the patient caught the virus here.
"We're in containment at this point. This is not community transmitted. This is what we have been looking for, which is travel-acquired," said Williams.
The federal government is confirming the test results.
COVID-19 has stricken more than 100,000 people worldwide, including 500 plus in the United States and seven in Illinois. There have been more than 3,000 deaths linked to the virus, including 21 in the U.S.
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