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California

Long Beach reports first three coronavirus cases

Coronavirus
Long Beach reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus.
(Health Protection Agency)

Three people in Long Beach are believed to have contracted the coronavirus after testing positive for the respiratory disease, marking the first cases reported in the city.

Preliminary test results indicated two men and one woman had contracted the disease, city officials said Monday evening. But the cases are considered presumptive until the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms the results.

Separately, officials said that 10 students and two staff members from Cal State Long Beach had quarantined themselves.

Dr. Anissa Davis, Long Beach’s health officer, said during a news conference Monday evening that two of the people recently returned from a cruise on the Nile River in Egypt where other cases of the novel coronavirus had been reported on the ship, and the third person traveled to a community in Northern California where COVID-19 had been spreading.

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One patient is hospitalized in stable condition at Long Beach Medical Center and two are isolated at home.

“In response to these cases, we are actively tracing the whereabouts of the patients while infectious, contacting and monitoring close contacts of the patients, working with local healthcare facilities to monitor healthcare workers who may have been exposed,” Davis said.

Earlier Monday, officials at Long Beach Medical Center confirmed that it had a coronavirus patient, who a city spokesperson later confirmed was one of the three presumptive positive cases.

“The patient has been in an isolation room since being identified as potentially having COVID-19 and is being provided with the very best care,” Dr. James Leo, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said in a statement. “Staff members are following all infection control requirements, including following the guidelines of the CDC regarding exposure to patients with novel coronavirus.”

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Leo said the hospital staff has trained extensively for coronavirus cases and has ample medical supplies should there be an influx of patients to the hospital.

“In order to follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control, we are screening ... people with symptoms outside of the emergency department and masking those patients immediately,” Leo said. “Patients who are suspected of possibly having COVID-19 are immediately placed in isolation.”

The hospital did not provide further details about the patient.

The news comes the same day that Los Angeles County public health officials announced the first coronavirus case from community spread.


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