Coronavirus in LA County: What to Know

What to Know

  • There were 20 confirmed coronavirus cases in LA County as of Tuesday morning
  • One case might be the first patient with no known history of travel to an outbreak region
  • On Friday, two cases were announced in Los Angeles County, including a second passenger-medical screener at LAX

The total number of coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County increased to 20 with one new patient announced Tuesday.

The most recent case involved a man who had returned from a trip to Iran to LAX.

One of two cases announced Monday might be the county’s first community transmission, meaning that person has no known travel history to an outbreak region. The other patients announced Monday — including three in Long Beach — have histories of travel to outbreak areas.

LA County Case Breakdown

  • Eight people in a travel group to Italy
  • Two contract employees who were conducting coronavirus medical screenings of arriving passengers at Los Angeles International Airport
  • Two relatives of a person who lives outside the county and was also confirmed with the virus
  • A traveler from the area of Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. That person, the county’s first, has since recovered
  • An American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) traveler
  • A patient who traveled to Japan
  • A patient with no known history of travel to outbreak regions, possibly LA County’s first case of community transmission
  • Three people in Long Beach with histories of travel to outbreak areas. One was hospitalized in stable condition and the others are at home in isolation. Two went on a cruise on the Nile River in Egypt, and the other person had traveled to an area in Northern California where community transmission has been reported.
  • A resident who returned from Iran via LAX

All of the county’s cases until the one announced Monday have been traced to an exposure source.

The two LAX screeners worked at the same quarantine station at the airport and are likely to have been exposed to the same source of the illness, but the county has asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to handle the investigation into those cases.

Health Department Recommendations

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county public health director, said she understands that the increasing number of cases will spark greater concern among residents and raise questions about what they can do to protect themselves.

“We are going to reiterate our main messages, which is for the general public, your risk still remains low, although this is the time to start making sure you’re practicing what we call good public health hygiene,” Ferrer said. “The primary message for everyone is to stay home when they’re sick. The primary message for everyone, children and adults, is even with mild illness to please not circulate in the public, particularly don’t go to schools and don’t go into work.”

She described “mild symptoms” as having a fever of over 100, along with respiratory symptoms or stomach ailments.

  • Stay home when ill
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Plan ahead for possible social disruptions, like event cancellations and postponements
  • Pregnant women, individuals with underlying health conditions and older people should practice social distancing and avoid being in close contact with others who are ill