By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed six additional cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Los Angeles County today; the total number of cases for the county is seven.
Information about the new cases:
- 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.
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. All confirmed cases are being isolated and close contacts are quarantined. There are no known exposures to the general public.
“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.
Public Health will continue to actively monitor this situation and provide updates to the public as needed.
“Although there is no current need for significant social distancing measures in LA County, and the individual risk for contracting COVID-19 remains low for most individuals in the County, all community members should take the opportunity to plan for the possibility of more significant social distancing requirements should there be broad community spread,” said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer.
In addition, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (Board) and the Department of Public Health (Public Health) declared a local and public health emergency in response to increased spread of coronavirus across the country and in LA County.
“These declarations are a swift response to this emergent issue and will enhance our ability to effectively manage our response,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “These actions will allow us to have even greater coordination to protect our more than 10 million residents and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” she added. Public Health simultaneously issued a declaration of a local public health emergency.
Public Health will be enhancing efforts to include the following:
- Testing at our Public Health Lab: Public Health is among ten California health labs to receive CDC test kits, with additional kits on the way and we will be able to test locally for COVID-19.
- Ensuring that people who are positive for novel coronavirus and their close contacts are quickly identified and closely monitored and supported while they are in isolation and/or quarantined.
- Daily radio briefing updates by the Public Health Director and Health Officer.
- New guidance for childcare facilities, schools, colleges and universities, employers, hotels, public safety responders, shelters, congregate living facilities and parents on how to prepare for and slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Weekly telebriefings with elected officials, city managers, and leaders at businesses, organizations, schools, faith-based communities and healthcare facilities (this includes over 3500 identified contacts).
- Site visits to every interim housing facility to assist the implementation of environmental practices and modifications that can reduce transmission of respiratory illness.
- Communication and preparation with our first responders, healthcare facility partners and healthcare providers to ensure continued readiness for this dynamic situation, including ensuring adequate PPE supplies for healthcare workers.
- Updating our pandemic response plan for COVID-19 in accordance with CDC guidance and local conditions.
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