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Timeline | Rocklin resident is California's first coronavirus death

The person died after becoming ill while on a cruise between San Francisco and Mexico.


Placer County has experienced the state's first coronavirus death, health officials confirmed Wednesday.

Dr. Aimee Sisson, Placer County Health Officer, said the person was an elderly Rocklin resident with underlying health conditions.

Here's what else we know about the death, based on statements from public health officials:

  • Feb. 11: Patient on Grand Princess cruise that left San Francisco for Mexico.
  • Feb. 19: The patient begins showing symptoms.
  • Feb. 21: Cruise returns to Port of San Francisco.
  • Feb. 27: 911 call placed and the patient admitted to Kaiser Permanente in Roseville.
  • March 1: Specimen for coronavirus test collected.
  • March 3: Sacramento County Public Health Department calls Placer County Health with lab test results.
  • March 4: The patient dies.

The individual was likely exposed to COVID-19 while onboard a Grand Princess cruise traveling between San Francisco and Mexico from Feb. 11 to Feb. 21, according to the Placer County Public Health. The patient began showing symptoms on Feb. 19.

The victim returned to the Port of San Francisco Feb. 21 and then called 911 on Feb. 27, the same day they were admitted to Kaiser Permanente Roseville. 

"The health care professionals at Kaiser Roseville did a great job of trying to come up with a diagnosis," Sisson said. "Did the normal rule out of kind of standard conditions and when they didn’t have a diagnosis that’s when they contacted public health and the testing was ordered."

RELATED: Coronavirus: Resources to help you understand and protect your family from the illness

WATCH: State and Placer County health officials talk first coronavirus death in California

The specimen for testing was collected from the patient on March 1 and the results were provided to Sisson by phone from the Sacramento County Public Health department lab March 3. 

The patient died early Wednesday morning. 

In response to the death, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Wednesday a statewide emergency.

Newsom said the death was not the only reason for the emergency proclamation. The same cruise ship deployed for another trip to Hawaii and then Mexico but is headed back for docked quarantine off of San Francisco.

Of the 2,500 passengers who are on the cruise ship, most of them are Californians. Newsom said health officials are flying testing kits to the ship and sending them to a testing site in Richmond.


According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, along with any other respiratory illness:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

The CDC also says facemasks should only be used by people who show symptoms of the virus. If you’re not sick, you do not have to wear a facemask. The CDC says the immediate risk to the U.S. public is low.



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