Eight-three Nassau County, Long Island, residents have been asked to undergo a two-week voluntary quarantine from the date that they traveled to China or had contact with someone infected with the virus.
Officials in the county announced Wednesday, Feb. 26, they are monitoring the group as they may have had potential exposure to the coronavirus, and test results for one resident are pending, according to news station WPVI.
The group is required to report their temperatures and any symptoms every day to Nassau County health officials.
“Should someone need medical care, we’ll evaluate it and we have protocols in place to safely get them medical care,” Nassau County Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein said during a press conference Wednesday.
Eisenstein said up to this point, the majority of people who have been asked to undergo voluntary isolation have been cooperative. He said if someone is not cooperative, officials have a plan in place, but they have not had to employ it.
News of Nassau’s quarantine comes a day after federal officials warned that it’s only a matter of time before the infection spreads through local communities.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, on Wednesday declined to promise that a coronavirus vaccine would be affordable for all Americans.
“We would want to ensure that we work to make it affordable, but we can’t control that price because we need the private sector to invest,” Azar told members of Congress during a hearing concerning the coronavirus outbreak and the administration’s budget request. “Price controls won’t get us there.”
While government and private researchers around the world are working quickly to develop a vaccine for the virus, it is estimated any vaccine is still several months away. The best preventative measure is regular thorough hand washing, according to Business Insider.
The virus causes a disease known as COVID-19, which has killed nearly 2,800 people and infected more than 81,000 since December. The vast majority of cases and deaths have been in China.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed cases in six states: Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington, and Wisconsin. Officials have recorded two cases of human-to-human transmission among family members.