PLACER COUNTY, Calif — Update: noon, Wednesday, March 4
The first coronavirus death in California has been confirmed in Placer County, health officials say.
According to the Placer County Public Health Department, the deceased was an elderly adult with underlying health conditions. This person was just diagnosed presumptive positive for the illness on Tuesday, according to the health department.
Placer County declared a local health emergency after health officials confirmed the second case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the county after a patient who recently traveled on cruise ship tested presumptively positive.
According to Placer County officials, the patient is an older adult who likely was exposed to the novel coronavirus while they were traveling on a Princess cruise ship that departed from San Francisco to Mexico. It was the same cruise ship that a Sonoma County COVID-19 patient was on before contracting the virus.
The patient is critically ill and is isolated from other patients at the local hospital, county officials said.
Placer County Public Health Officer Aimee Sisson told ABC10 in a phone interview that healthcare workers are quarantined after being exposed to the second confirmed coronavirus patient.
"We expect to see additional cases in coming days, including cases of community spread, not linked to ravel," Sisson said in a press release. "We are declaring these emergencies today so we will be able to activate and deploy resources to adequately respond to an increase in cases."
Placer County officials confirmed the first case of the coronavirus on Monday. The patient is a NorthBay VacaValley Hospital health care worker who had previously been exposed to another coronavirus case in Solano County.
Health officials said the health care worker is currently in isolation and showing mild symptoms. All those who had close contact with the patient will be quarantined and monitored.
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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