Coronavirus emergency is developing quickly in LA County

Posted at 9:00 AM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 12:01:01-04

The coronavirus emergency is developing quickly. Two more people in LA County have tested positive, including one believed to be the first in the county with community transmission.

The number of novel coronavirus cases in LA County still growing. The health department reporting some 16 people in the county are now confirmed to have the virus and that includes two new cases. One of them has a known travel history to Japan but health officials say how the other person contracted COVID-19 is a mystery.

"Our other case, we cannot at this time identify a known exposure history, so we possibly have our first case of community transmission," explained Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of the La County Health Department. "Remember, community transmission is when we cannot identify a known source of exposure."

Over at Cal State Long Beach, ten students have been placed in self-quarantine. They had attended an event in Washington DC where three attendees tested positive for the coronavirus. The students are showing no signs of infection, so the university is keeping classrooms open.

Meantime the Centers for Disease Control is now telling Americans to avoid all cruises, not just ones that visit Asian countries. And now that LA County has its first case of possible community transmission, health officials are increasing their warning for certain groups of people.

"We are recommending that people with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and people who are elderly should adopt some social distancing practices immediately," said Ferrer.

That means avoiding non-essential travel, public gatherings where large groups of people are congregating, and event venues.

As for the rest of us, the advice is simple.

"The most important thing that we can do is to stay home when you're sick. And I mean no matter how mild the illness is. And you need to stay home until you're fully well," added Ferrer.