California Declares Emergency After 1st Coronavirus Death
Speaker 1: 00:00 There's a new presumptive case of coven 19 virus in San Diego involving an at and T employee who works at the company's Chula Vista store. That news comes as San Diego health officials are providing an update on the status of the Kovac 19 virus in the County on Wednesday, governor Gavin Newsome declared a state of emergency as the first death in California from the virus was reported. San Diego remains under a County health emergency since cases of covert 19 were discovered among the American evacuees from China who were quarantined at the Marine base at Miramar KPBS health reporter Taran mento joins us with background on what we know so far about covert 19 in California. And Taryn, welcome. Thank you. What do we know about this latest case of coronavirus in San Diego? Right. So the city of Chula Vista posted on its social media pages just really minutes ago that they were notified by the County, uh, yesterday that someone had tested positive for coven 19, but it's called presumptive positive because that test has to go back to the CDC for confirmation. Speaker 1: 01:05 We got the ability to test here locally, but the process is to send that back to the CDC for confirmation. Um, they do believe that they've been able to contact all the people, the people who have had contact with this new presumptive case. Um, and they are being self quarantined. But other than this case we have had two other cases. These were people who were quarantined at Miramar that they tested positive and that was confirmed and they have since been discharged from the facilities where they were treated in a sense gone back to their respective communities. So this is actually the first local case that we've had that didn't come from out of the country. But the, a statement from the city of Chula Vista does say that this person doesn't actually live in the County. Has this individual traveled abroad at any time recently? That is what the statement says that they recently were, traveled, recently traveled to a high risk region as, as defined by the CDC. Speaker 1: 01:57 We don't know specifically what it is, but they did say that. And so they believe that the risk to other people is low. But again, they have contacted, they say those individuals that could have had contact with them and are putting them under self quarantine which lasts about 14 days and the County does monitor those individuals where are the bulk of the cases in California. So there are, you know, they are kind of all over but there is a concentration, um, a little bit of a concentration in, in LA area and then um, a little bit of a bigger concentration. I'm up in the Bay area, San Jose area, Sacramento area up there in Northern now, uh, the, as you mentioned, the Northern California is where the man died from the Corona virus. He was the first in the state. Do you know about the circumstances surrounding that death? Speaker 1: 02:42 What we know is that he was on a cruise, part of a cruise that went to Mexico. It fell ill. The officials really aren't releasing too much more information about the patient. They released the age 71 that he had underlying health conditions. We do know just like the flu that this the Corona virus. It does impact people with underlying health condition conditions and have an older age, a little bit more, bringing on a little bit more complications and possibly resulting in death as we saw with the cluster of cases up in Washington at the nursing home. So that, that's basically the most that we know it because there's a lot of privacy protections about releasing information about patients. So now the cruise ship is under quarantine off the coast of California. What's happening to those passengers? They're being screened. There's um, you know, they're probably checking for their fever to see if they have any, um, they have a fever, any symptoms, um, and if they are showing any symptoms, is there anything further that they can, any other criteria that they can look at determine if it is more likely the Corona virus as opposed to just the flu. Speaker 1: 03:44 When one of the things that they keep officials keep talking about is that that shortness of breath, we do know that it is a often a lower respiratory infection and that can cause shortness of breath. And so they're, they're probably looking for those sorts of signs. Do we know yet of any of the other cruise ship passengers were from San Diego County right now the governor did say that as of late yesterday or today, every County official would know if they had a resident from the cruise ship in their County. So that information is being communicated probably right now if it has an F it hasn't already and we would likely to expect to get an update on that at the press conference or news conference that County officials will be are having at noon. Now. The death of this man in Northern California prompted the governor to declare a state health emergency. Speaker 1: 04:32 What does a state health emergency do? It just loosens certain restrictions or criteria to make it easier to get certain things like supplies, personal protection equipment or actually like individuals, like people who could go to different impacted counties and offer some relief to the staff members that are in health care workers that are there. I mean like one example is, you know, if you need masks and there's a company that's selling masks in California says, Hey, great, we want to buy those from you for healthcare providers that need them. Usually when you enter into a contract, there's a, you know, an open application period that lasts a certain amount of time to make it fair for everybody to put forth their best proposal. Things like that are being waived because we don't have 30 days, 60 days, 90 days to wait around for someone to put forward the best proposal because in you know, instances of emergency you just need the equipment. Speaker 1: 05:21 Exactly. And San Diego had previously declared a County health emergency, is that still an effect? Correct. It was declared earlier last month and we received an update I believe on February 19th about how that's going. We'll likely get an update during the news conference during the noon hour and then we expect to have another update when they go back before the board of supervisors for every time that they continue to extend this. What else are we expecting in this update? Uh, the County is discussing at a press conference going on right now, giving us an update on the Corona virus here in San Diego. What are, what are they expected to say? Well, if you look at who is going to be there, there's a representative from schools, there's a representative from businesses. We know that the CDC days, weeks ago was talking about now is the time where businesses and schools need to be prepared for what their mitigation plan is. Speaker 1: 06:11 How are they going to reduce the risk of spread to their students and their staff members? So the chamber of commerce is going to be there, who represents a lot of businesses in the County. They're likely going to be talking about the sorts of guidance that they would be giving to businesses and how to best handle this. Same with schools and we, and we've looked at kind of how schools are preparing for this, but just judging based on who's there, that's what we could expect to hear about. We'll bring you the latest from that County update this afternoon on KPBS, IFM and we'll have a tonight, two on KPBS evening edition. On KPBS TV at five and I've been speaking with KPBS health reporter Taren mento. Taryn. Thank you. Thanks, Maureen.