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For Immediate Release:
March 15, 2020
For more information contact:
Public Health Communications
(213) 240-8144
media@ph.lacounty.gov


2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advisory 16 New Cases of Confirmed COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 16 new cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Without a specific vaccine or treatment for this disease, social distancing is the most effective and readily available tool we have to slow the spread of novel coronavirus.

Additional case information:

  • One case has an unidentified source of exposure.
  • Three cases were exposed during recent travel.
  • Two cases were healthcare workers exposed in a healthcare setting.
  • Four cases had close contact with a confirmed case.
  • Five of these cases are pending more investigation.
  • One is the case reported by the Long Beach Health Department late yesterday.

To date, Public Health has identified 69 cases; of these, 10 cases are likely due to community transmission. Five of the cases confirmed today are hospitalized. Cases are occurring across LA County, so everyone should be aware and practice social distancing.

Public Health is investigating these cases and will notify persons who may have had close personal contact with these individuals, including any friends, family members or health care professionals, to assess and monitor them for signs and symptoms of illness. All confirmed cases are being isolated and close contacts are quarantined.

“We anticipate more cases and increased community spread as more testing occurs,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Los Angeles County Public Health Director. “We are asking everyone to expect more social distancing requirements as more cases are identified. Please do not call 911 to request testing for COVID-19 and please do not go to our emergency rooms unless you are seriously ill and require emergency care. If you have respiratory illness and want to know if you should be tested for COVID-19, it is best to call your health care provider or, if you don’t have a provider, call 2-1-1 for help finding a clinician near you. Our healthcare providers are prepared to see more cases, but we must all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 in order to minimize strain on our healthcare system and other service providers.” she added.

Public Health has issued the following guidance during this time of increased spread:

  • Avoid non-essential travel, public gatherings, and places where large groups of people congregate.
  • Event organizers postpone or cancel non-essential gatherings of 250 or more until at least the end of March.
  • Smaller events proceed only if the organizers can implement social distancing of 6 feet per person.
  • Limit gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 (people older than 65, pregnant women, and those with chronic illness) to no more than 10 people.
  • This guidance does not apply to activities such as attendance at regular school classes, work, or essential services, including public transportation, airport travel or shopping.
  • If you are mildly sick with a fever, stay home and call your doctor if you are concerned and/or your symptoms worsen. Individuals who are elderly, have underlying health conditions or pregnant should consider contacting their providers earlier when they are sick.
  • Exclude employees and visitors with any fever and/or respiratory infection symptoms and visitors with recent travel to any country or region with significant community transmission (including communities in the US) from all schools, businesses, and gatherings of any size.
  • Follow all social distancing recommendations issued by Public Health.

Additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website.

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.


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