Pittsfield family of 5 in mandatory coronavirus quarantine after trip to China

Berkshire County

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) — A Pittsfield family that recently traveled to China is being quarantined in their home to make sure they didn’t contract the coronavirus. The family of five has not shown any symptoms.

“I think it’s really important to reassure our community,” said Pittsfield Director of Public Health Gina Armstrong.

Armstrong says a local family returned Sunday from visiting a low-risk area of China and were cleared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the airport where they showed no symptoms of coronavirus and had no exposure to anyone with it.

“I want people to know there’s no risk to anyone in the community when someone’s in home isolation,” said Pittsfield Public Health Nurse Manager Kayla Donnelly-Winters.

The State Department of Health directed Pittsfield to initiate a two-week quarantine with Donnelly-Winters charged with twice daily monitoring of the family over the phone.

“They’re very similar to flu symptoms: a flu, cough, difficulty breathing,” said Donnelly-Winters.

None of the family members have shown any symptoms.  If they do, Armstrong says patients would be taken to Berkshire Medical Center.

“All of those plans are solidly in place in the event that we need it. We’re not anticipating that we will need it,” she said.

The Health Department is not releasing who the family is or where they live to protect their privacy.

“Because it really doesn’t impact the general public; there is no risk; there is no exposure,” said Armstrong.

This is a mandatory quarantine and protocol is in place if someone were to leave the home, but Donnelly-Winters says the family is cooperating.

“People are more than willing to quarantine. They’re scared to get anybody else sick, and we found that across the state,” she said.

The Health Department is reiterating that the flu is a much greater threat to the public and that people should continue taking precautions.

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