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For Immediate Release:
February 28, 2020
For more information contact:
Public Health Communications
(213) 240-8144

Public Health Statement Regarding South Korean Flight Attendant

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) received confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that a South Korean flight attendant, who was diagnosed with novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in South Korea and had recently visited LA County, was not symptomatic during their time in LA County and did not pose any risk to others while in LA County. The CDC confirmed the flight attendant did not develop symptoms until after departing LA County.

At this time, there are no new cases of COVID-19 in LA County, and there is currently no evidence of person-to-person spread of the virus within LA County. Therefore, the immediate health risk to the general public of exposure to this virus in Los Angeles County is still considered low.

Public Health is carefully assessing the situation as it evolves. Public Health also continues to proactively take steps to prevent the spread of this novel coronavirus and to work with healthcare, schools, colleges, and universities, the business community, and State and Federal partners, among others, to prepare for the possibility of additional cases in the future.

"It is likely we will eventually see more cases of the novel coronavirus, in the midst of continuing to see other respiratory illnesses, like the flu. Respiratory infections predominantly spread when people are sick with fever and cough are in contact with others,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Los Angeles County Public Health. “Everyone should stay at home when they're sick. This requires our employers and schools to be flexible when staff and students are sick and need to stay home."

Residents can continue to enjoy all their usual activities and feel comfortable eating and shopping at restaurants and stores across LA County, and are encouraged to the follow the actions below.

Public Health continues to recommend that the public do the following to protect themselves and to prevent the spread of all respiratory illnesses:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Limit close contact, like kissing and sharing cups or utensils, with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
  • Facemasks are most effective when used appropriately by health care workers and people who are sick.
  • Get a flu immunization if you have not done so this season.

Public Health, along with partners in healthcare, state and federal agencies, have systems in place to support appropriate screening and testing for those with an exposure to COVID-19, and healthcare providers are able to provide excellent care to manage respiratory illnesses.

Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus

The Department of Public Health is committed to promoting health equity and ensuring optimal health and well-being for all 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health comprises nearly 4,500 employees and has an annual budget of $1.2 billion. To learn more about Los Angeles County Public Health, please visit www.publichea lth.lacounty.gov , and follow LA County Public Health on social media at twitter.com/l acounty.gov, and follow LA County Public Health on social media at twitter.com/lap ublichealth, facebook.co m/lapublichealth, instagra m.com/lapublichealth and youtube.com/ lapublichealth.