San Diego resident tests negative for coronavirus, clearing list of potential patients

Airplane carrying U.S. evacuees from Wuhan, China, lands at Riverside air base
Workers in protective suits handle the luggage of about 200 U.S. evacuees from Wuhan, China, who were flown to March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County on Wednesday.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A San Diego resident who developed a respiratory illness after returning home from Wuhan, China, has tested negative for the new coronavirus.

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency said Thursday evening that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had confirmed the results. No one else in the county is currently under observation for signs of the virus.

“We are monitoring this new virus just like we would any infectious disease,” Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego County’s public health officer, said in a statement. “We are prepared and conducting surveillance to keep this virus from spreading locally.”


Passengers arriving from Wuhan at Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport are being screened. The goal is to identify people who may have symptoms of being infected with the coronavirus, which the World Health Organization on Thursday declared a global health emergency.

Health officials continue to say that the risk of infection for the general public is minimal in California, as well as in the rest of the United States. People who have not traveled to an area where the virus has been detected and have not had close contact with a patient who tested positive for coronavirus have a very low risk of infection.

As of Thursday, only two people in California, a patient in Los Angeles County and another in Orange County, had tested positive for the coronavirus, called 2019-nCoV. The respiratory virus, first identified in Wuhan, has has sickened more than 9,770 people on four continents and claimed at least 213 lives.