2nd coronavirus patient under care in LA; briefing scheduled this morning

Amid news of a second Los Angeles County case of the novel coronavirus, local elected and health officials planned to gather today to make “major announcements” about the illness and efforts to combat its spread.

Hours after the county Department of Public Health announced plans for the news conference, officials with Kaiser Permanente confirmed to various media outlets on Tuesday that it was treating a newly diagnosed coronavirus patient in Los Angeles.

“Kaiser Permanente is overseeing the care of a coronavirus patient who is home in self-isolation and being treated on an outpatient basis,” according to a Kaiser statement. “We are in touch with and monitoring the patient.”

No other details were released about the patient or how the person may have been exposed to the illness that has killed more than 3,100 people worldwide, mostly in China. Nine deaths have been reported in the United States, all in Washington state.

More than 93,000 cases of the illness, officially known as COVID-19, have been confirmed around the globe.

A previously confirmed coronavirus patient in Los Angeles County has since recovered and been released from treatment.

County officials did not offer any comment in response to Kaiser Permanente’s statement. Also expected to attend Wednesday morning’s news conference to discuss the virus are officials from Pasadena and Long Beach, which both maintain their own health departments separate from the county’s.

The county Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles City Council are both expected to hear reports during their Wednesday meetings about the status of the illness locally.

News of the second Los Angeles case came on the heels of Orange County health officials announcing Tuesday that two more residents there had tested positive locally for the virus. Those diagnoses were still awaiting confirmation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Orange County also had a previous coronavirus patient who has also recovered.

The newest Orange County patients are a man in his 60s and a woman in her 30s who had recently traveled to countries with widespread outbreaks of COVID-19. One media report indicated that the pair had both traveled—separately—to Italy.

Dr. Nichole Quick, Orange County’s health officer, credited the discovery of the new patients to increased local testing ability.

“The more you look for something, the more likely you are to find it,” she said. “… Now that our Public Health Laboratory is able to perform COVID-19 testing, we expect to see more cases here in Orange County. Our residents should take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like covering your coughs and sneezes, avoiding touching your face, and washing your hands frequently.”

Wednesday morning’s news conference will be streamed live on L.A. County’s facebook page.

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