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UPDATE Saturday, March 7: Ventura County Public Health reports one presumptive positive case of COVID-19; 1 Grand Princess passenger in V.C. tested as presumptive positive; second cruise passenger tested negative for virus


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Illustration of novel coronavirus from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
One presumptive positive case of the novel coronavirus has been confirmed in Ventura County by the Ventura County Public Health Lab, according to the Ventura County Public Health Department, which issued a press release the afternoon of Friday, March 6.  Secondary confirmation is pending from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
The patient had traveled on the Grand Princess Cruise Ship from San Francisco to Mexico. The patient returned to the port of entry in San Francisco on Feb. 21. This was the same ship on which an elderly man traveled and later died, in Placer County in Northern California, after testing positive for COVID-19.
Another Grand Princess cruise ship passenger who returned home to Ventura County after the cruise ended Feb. 21 has tested negative for the novel coronavirus, health officials reported. 
The California Department of Public Health notified Ventura County Public Health on March 4 at 7:40 p.m. that there were six Ventura County residents who had traveled on the cruise. 
The cruise destination was not on the list of at-risk destinations so the travelers that disembarked the ship on Feb. 21 were not under travel restrictions or health checks upon return. 
Ventura County Public Health quickly began contacting cruise travelers on the same evening. One of the six travelers had already been in contact with their primary doctor. The primary care doctor had requested that the traveler be tested for COVID-19. In an abundance of caution, the doctor had the patient remain in their vehicle during curbside specimen drop-off. This was requested to limit any possible exposure. The Ventura County Public Health Lab, one of 11 labs in the state able to conduct testing, confirmed preliminary positive results on March 5. Results are pending from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
The patient was not feeling well upon return from the cruise and remained home resting. The patient only left their home to seek medical attention. Ventura County Public Health is working with the California Department of Public Health to provide notifications to anyone who may have been in contact with the patient while seeking medical attention or during transit to Ventura County from San Francisco. The patient is currently under home quarantine with mild symptoms. The patient’s spouse was also on the cruise but has no symptoms. The spouse also remains under home quarantine. 
Public Health has contacted the four remaining passengers. One passenger is symptomatic and being tested at this time. The remaining three have no symptoms. 
“There is no evidence of community transmission in Ventura County. This is a travel-related case. We appreciate our lab and nurses for quickly responding. Their swift action helped limit community exposure,” said Ventura County Public Health Officer, Doctor Robert Levin. “We understand the concern this new virus is causing. The risk to the public from COVID-19 remains low. Community members are encouraged to take the same steps they would take to help prevent colds and the flu. Preparing for social distancing is still recommended.”
According to the California Department of Public Health, as of March 5, there are a total of 60 positive cases in California: 24 travel related cases and 19 other confirmed cases. This is the first positive case, pending CDC confirmation, in Ventura County. As of March 6, there have been eight people tested, seven negative results, two pending result, 25 travelers on home quarantine, and one traveler under quarantine with no symptoms at Naval Base Ventura County – Point Mugu. 
Symptoms of COVID-19 are like the flu, which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or up to 14 days after exposure.
If you are presenting symptoms of COVID-19 and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19 or had recent international travel please contact your health care provider. Before seeking medical care, consult with your provider first to prevent possible transmission in the health care setting.
Recommendations for the public:
Take these precautions to stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like COVID-19:
Wash hands with soap and water and rub for at least 20 seconds.
Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
Stay home if you are sick; and
Get a flu shot to protect yourself and others from flu, which has similar symptoms to COVID-19.
Stay informed at www.vcemergency.com
Also on Friday, March 6, the California Department of Public Health released the following updates on COVID-19:

California now has 69 confirmed cases of COVID-19.


For more information on COVID-19 and California’s response visit www.cdph.ca.gov 
COVID-19 in California by the Numbers (as of 10 a.m. Pacific Time):
69 – Positive cases
1 – Death
24 – Cases of positive tests related to federal repatriation flights
45 – Cases not related to repatriation flights
• 22 - Travel-related
• 12 - Person to person
• 9 - Community transmission
• 2 – Currently under investigation
9,900+ – number of people self-monitoring who returned to the U.S. through SFO or LAX
49 – Number of local health jurisdictions involved in self-monitoring
15 – Labs with test kits

How Can People Protect Themselves:
Every person has a role to play. So much of protecting yourself and your family comes down to common sense:
• Washing hands with soap and water.
• Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
• Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
• Following guidance from public health officials.

What to Do if You Think You’re Sick:
• Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19 or recently traveled to countries with apparent community spread, call your health care provider or local public health department first before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.

California’s Response to COVID-19:
We have been actively and extensively planning with our local public health and health care delivery systems. Here are some of the things we are already doing: 
• As in any public health event, the California Department of Public Health’s Medical and Health Coordination Center has been activated and is coordinating public health response efforts across the state.

• California continues to prepare and respond in coordination with federal and local partners, hospitals and physicians.

•  XCGov. Newsom declared a State of Emergency to make additional resources available, formalize emergency actions already underway across multiple state agencies and departments, and help the state prepare for broader spread of COVID-19.

• California Gov. Gavin Newsom requested the Legislature make up to $20 million available for state government to respond to the spread of COVID-19.

• California activated the State Operations Center to its highest level to coordinate response efforts across the state.

• 24 million more Californians are now eligible for free medically necessary COVID-19 testing.

• California made available some of its emergency planning reserves of 21 million N95 filtering facepiece masks for use in certain health care settings to ease shortages of personal protective equipment.

• The Public Health Department is providing information, guidance documents, and technical support to local health departments, health care facilities, providers, schools, universities, colleges, and childcare facilities across California.

• The Public Health Department is coordinating with federal authorities and local health departments that have implemented screening, monitoring and, in some cases quarantine of returning travelers.

• In coordination with the CDC, state and local health departments, we are actively responding to cases of COVID-19. 

• The Public Health Department is supporting hospitals and local public health laboratories in the collection of specimens and testing for COVID-19.

• The California Department of Public Health’s state laboratory in Richmond and 14 other public health department laboratories now have tests for the virus that causes COVID-19.

www.cdph.ca.gov 

— To view latest updates on Covid-19 for Ventura County, visit:

Online information sites on COVID-19: 

— To view the Friday, Feb. 28, Covid-19 update from the Ojai Unified School District, visit:

 — To view the Ventura County Office of Education corona virus website, visit:

https://www.vcoe.org/news/ArticleID/4714/coronavirus

— To view the California Department of Education coronavirus website, visit:

https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/hn/coronavirus.asp

— To view the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for Covid-19 updates, visit: 

— To view the CDC website on ways to protect oneself and others from getting Covid-19, visit:

— To view latest information on Covid-19 in California, visit California Department of Public Health:

To view medical updates on the WebMD website, visit:

https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200124/coronavirus-2020-outbreak-latest-updates 

To view a list of countries with COVID-19 travel advisories, visit:

— To view guidance from the CDC to Ventura County Office of Education, to be disseminated to local school districts, visit:

— To view recording of Saturday, Feb. 29, state of Washington press conference on Covid-19, visit:

(To view video recording, click “skip ad” after logging in.)

— To view recording of Wednesday, Feb. 26, press conference in Camarillo regarding travelers at risk of contracting coronavirus being housed at Naval Base Ventura County-Point Mugu, visit: https://www.facebook.com/ojaivalleynews/videos/227107418447087/

— To view recording of press conference on Tuesday, Feb. 25, with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C., visit:

(Dr. Anne Schuchat’s comments start at the 5:35 time stamp of the press briefing recording.
At the 17:45 time stamp, Dr. Robert Kadlec, HHS's assistant secretary for Preparedness and Response, spoke about the quarantine center at Naval Base Ventura County-Point Mugu.)
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