California declares state of emergency over coronavirus after report of first death
Hours after California announced its first death related to the novel coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency over the spreading illness, which has struck 12 counties in the state and has sickened more than 50 people.
Placer County Public Health officials announced that a patient who had tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from a cruise to Mexico last month died. The individual was an elderly adult with underlying health conditions and was the county’s second confirmed case of COVID-19, reported Tuesday night. Officials said that close contacts of the patient were being quarantined and monitored for the illness.
The person’s likely exposure occurred during travel on a Princess cruise ship that departed Feb. 10 from San Francisco and sailed to Mexico, returning Feb. 21, officials said.
The patient tested positive Tuesday and had been placed in isolation at Kaiser Permanente Roseville.
The person likely had minimal community exposure between returning from the cruise and arriving at the hospital by ambulance on Thursday, health officials said. Ten Kaiser Permanente health care workers and five emergency responders, who were exposed prior to the patient’s being put in isolation, are now in quarantine.
None of those 15 workers is exhibiting symptoms, officials said.
It’s possible that other cruise passengers may have been exposed, officials said. Placer County Public Health is working closely with Sacramento County Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify and contact other cruise ship passengers.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of this patient,” Placer County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson said. “While we have expected more cases, this death is an unfortunate milestone in our efforts to fight this disease, and one that we never wanted to see.