Alaska becomes 49th state to confirm case of coronavirus

The 49th state was the 49th state to confirm a case of coronavirus.

A cargo pilot who landed at Anchorage’s international airport Wednesday and stayed in a hotel before seeking medical help was the first confirmed case in Alaska, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

That left West Virginia as the lone US state without a confirmed case.

He went to the hospital Thursday. The state identified the pilot as “a foreign national individual,” the paper reported. He was tested at Alaska Regional Hospital, discharged and is currently in stable condition and in isolation.

Three staff members from the Anchorage Fire Department who were exposed to the virus while caring for the man are self-monitoring.

The international cargo flight was processed through a different part of the airport than domestic passenger flights. It does not appear that the man with the virus came to the attention of federal authorities screening people in the international section.

It’s not clear how many other crew members were on the flight.

Despite having no reported coronavirus cases, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Friday closed all public and private schools for the foreseeable future to prevent the spread of the virus, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

It is one of eight states to close schools in response to the pandemic.

Justice acknowledged closing schools before a case is identified may seem like a drastic move.

“I mean let’s be real. It has to be here, we just haven’t found it yet,” he said, according to WTAP.

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