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1 year since UW treated first case of coronavirus in WI

UW Health Photo

MADISON (WKOW) -- Saturday marks one year since UW Health treated its first coronavirus patient at University Hospital in Madison.

It took six days for the results to come back positive from the CDC in Atlanta.

This was the first case in the state and only the 12th confirmed case in the country.

Dr. Jeff Pothof, chief quality officer, says the UW team took appropriate isolation precautions at the time, but still had no idea what was to come.

"At that time, this wasn't just second nature like it is right now," he said. "For the next 3-4 weeks, we kept watching the headlines -- seeing what was going to happen. Is this going to be relatively well controlled, regional hotspots, or is this going to become a global pandemic?"

Health care workers say they kept the patient secure and isolated, but as the outbreak became a pandemic, they had to race to keep up.

"Just like the public, getting new info everyday. This is a novel virus, a lot wasn't known early on. Taking the guidance that was changing really on a daily basis from the CDC," said Laura Anderson, UW Health Infection Control Practitioner.

State health officials say that person had traveled to China and was exposed to known cases there.

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