1 One More New Coronavirus Case in LA County

KNX 1070
March 10, 2020 - 12:07 pm

An LA County resident, who recently traveled to Iran, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The LA County Dept. of Public Health announced two more coronavirus cases in LA County Monday.

One of the cases is said to have spread through community transmission. The other case is someone who traveled to Japan.

That brings the total number of cases in LA County to 16 or 20 including cases from Long Beach.

Also on Monday, three new cases were announced in the Coachella Valley.

The three infections were either the result of travel into areas where coronavirus have been confirmed or contact with a known case, according to Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer, in a press release.

"Two of the individuals have been isolated at home, Kaiser said, while the third is being cared for at a Coachella Valley hospital," the press release said.

Public health recommendations for all Riverside County residents during community spread:

• Practice social distancing, which is remaining out of places where people meet or gather and avoid using public transportation, if possible.

• Do not attend work, school or events when sick. Stay home.

• Cough into your elbow or tissue.

• Wash hands frequently and use hand sanitizer often.

• Stay away from anyone who is sick.

Last week on Friday, the department also announced two other new cases of coronavirus in LA County.

Last week on Thursday, LA Public Health officials announced four new cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in LA County. 

LA County Dept. of Public Health said in a press release "All of these additional positive cases are part of a group of travelers who were in Northern Italy. These travelers were a part of the group of travelers announced yesterday."

Public Health has identified persons who may have had close personal contact with these individuals, including any friends, family members or health care professionals, to assess and monitor them for signs and symptoms of illness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also issued new directives today for travelers returning from areas experiencing local outbreaks; the guidance asks these travelers to distance themselves from the public for 14 days by staying home from work and/or school, avoiding public spaces and public transit, and monitoring themselves for signs and symptoms of respiratory illness. Should returning travelers from areas experiencing outbreaks develop illness, they should immediately call their health care provider.

“With yesterday’s declarations of a public health emergency by the Board of Supervisors, Public Health has mobilized county resources, accelerated emergency planning, streamlined staffing, and enhanced our coordinated efforts with agencies across the county and with our state and federal partners,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health, in a press release.  “As more cases are identified, we are asking everyone to do their part: stay home if you are sick and keep your children home if they are sick; take time now to plan for the possibility of school and business closures, and be sure to follow any additional directives issued by Public Health and/or local officials. By working together, we can try to slow the transmission of novel coronavirus,” she added.

California reported its first death from coronavirus last week.

The LA Times reported that the death occurred in Placer County.

This came after Los Angeles County officials declared a local public health emergency regarding the coronavirus. At the time, the LA Department of Public Health said its seen six new cases of the coronavirus.

There have been 11 deaths so far in the U.S. from the coronavirus.

“LA County and hospital partners are well prepared to manage cases and suspected cases of novel coronavirus. As with other respiratory illnesses, there are steps that everyone can take to reduce the risk of getting sick from circulating viruses, including COVID-19. This includes remaining home when ill, washing hands with soap and water frequently, and getting immunized against flu,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health, in a press release.

The patient, who was elderly and returning from a cruise, was one of the six new cases announced by LA County Public Health officials Wednesday, the Times reported.

The patient was on a Princess cruise ship, which also released a statement today:

"I wish to advise you that today we have been notified by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that they are investigating a small cluster of COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases in Northern California connected to our previous Grand Princess voyage that sailed roundtrip San Francisco from February 11 to February 21. We are working closely with our CDC partners and are following their recommendations," the statement said.

The patient had sailed from San Francisco to Mexico.

"For guests who sailed on the previous Grand Princess voyage (Feb 11-21), if you have experienced any symptoms of acute respiratory illness with fever, chills, or cough since your return home, please immediately contact your medical provider. "

Public Health has received the CDC test kids and can test locally and will monitor and support those in isolation and quarantine.

According to LA County Public Health, the new cases are: 

  • One individual was most likely exposed by an infected traveler at their job.
  • Two people were most likely exposed by a family member who was a positive case and lives outside of LA County.
  • Three were travelers who traveled together in northern Italy.

The officials said the six new cases are related to either cases where they were in contact with someone who had been in one of the affected countries or in contact to someone who had coronavirus. LA Public Health said the six new coronavirus cases are not due to community spread, but an assumed “known exposure” or “close contact.”

The cities of Pasadena and Long Beach said they will both declare a local emergency later on Wednesday but officials stressed there are no coronavirus cases in Pasadena or Long Beach right now.

Public Health continues to recommend that the public do the following to protect themselves and others from respiratory illnesses:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unclean hands.
  • Limit close contact, like kissing and sharing cups or utensils, with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
  • Facemasks are most effective when used appropriately by health care workers and those directly caring for people who are sick and by people who are sick (source control).
  • Get a flu immunization to prevent influenza if you have not done so this season.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, there were have been two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, a man in his 60s and a female in her 30s with recent travel to countries with widespread transmission, in Orange County, according to the OC Health Care Agency’s (HCA) Public Health Laboratory today.

In an OC Health Care Agency press release Tuesday, the lab said it was sending the samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmation and results are pending.

“The more you look for something, the more likely you are to find it,” said Dr. Nichole Quick, County Health Officer, in the press release. “Now that our Public Health Laboratory is able to perform COVID-19 testing, we expect to see more cases here in Orange County. Our residents should take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like covering your coughs and sneezes, avoiding touching your face, and washing your hands frequently.”

The press release said the HCA is following up directly with all individuals who have had close contact with both cases and are at risk of infection.

The press release said "the CDC’s guidance indicates that people who have casual contact with a case (in the same grocery store or movie theater) are at minimal risk of developing infection."

For more information about COVID-19, please visit www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus