Novel Coronavirus Claims Its First Victim in California
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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
The novel coronavirus COVID-19 claimed its first victim in California on Wednesday. That prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a coronavirus state of emergency.
The unnamed man died after falling ill with the virus while on a cruise to Mexico, the Los Angeles Times reported. Placer County health officials described him as a 71-year-old resident of Rocklin “who had underlying health conditions.”
He was likely exposed to the virus on the cruise from San Francisco to Mexico between February 11 and 21, CNN said.
“We have the resources. We have the capacity,” to deal with the situation, Newsom said. He promised that by Wednesday evening every county health official will have the information on the passengers to begin contacting them.
Unidentified Victim of Coronavirus Died after Being Placed in Isolation
He tested positive for the virus on Tuesday and was placed in isolation at Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center.
Ten Kaiser Permanente healthcare workers and five emergency responders, who were exposed before the patient was put in isolation, are now in quarantine. None of those 15 workers is exhibiting symptoms, officials said, according to the Times.
Officials Want to Locate Other Passengers Who Might Also Have Contracted the Virus
Officials are now trying to locate hundreds of other Californians who disembarked from the Grand Princess in San Francisco last month after visiting Mexico. Officials want to determine whether they also might have contracted the virus, the Times added.
After the cruise to Mexico, the Grand Princess made a subsequent voyage to Hawaii with 2,500 passengers, including “dozens who went on the same trip as the California man who died,” CNN said.
The ship was headed back to San Francisco on Thursday after cancelling a scheduled stop in Baja California. The Grand Princess will be held off shore so public health officials can screen everyone onboard, Newsom told a news conference.
At least 11 passengers and 10 crew members currently on board have developed symptoms, Newsom said.
“We have the resources. We have the capacity,” he added. Newsom insisted that by Wednesday evening every county health official will have the information on the passengers to begin contacting them.
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