ROSEVILLE (CBS13) – One person has died in Placer County of the coronavirus. It’s the first confirmed death related to the disease in California and just the 10th in the U.S.
The county health department says the person was a critically ill older adult resident of Rocklin who was likely exposed to the virus on a Princess cruise ship that left from San Francisco to Mexico. According to a cruise ship spokesperson, the patient was a 71-year-old man.
That same cruise is associated with a coronavirus case in Sonoma County.
“While we have expected more cases, this death is an unfortunate milestone in our efforts to fight this disease, and one that we never wanted to see,” said Placer County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson in a statement about the patient’s death.
The patient had been in isolation at the Kaiser Roseville hospital.
Dr. Sisson though, says she can no longer say that the possibility of exposure risk to the public overall- is no longer low. Reminding the community, "wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands," @CBSSacramento https://t.co/0mKBzevkXt
— Marissa Perlman (@MPerlmanNews) March 4, 2020
California Gov. Gavin Newsom released a statement following the patient’s death.
“This case demonstrates the need for continued local, state and federal partnership to identify and slow the spread of the virus,” Gov. Newsom said.
Health officials say the patient had “minimal community exposure” from the time they had returned from the cruise ship to when they arrived at the hospital on Feb. 27.
As a result of their contacts with the patient, 10 Kaiser Permanente healthcare workers and 5 emergency responders have been put in quarantine. None of them are showing symptoms of the virus, health officials say.
Placer County’s first confirmed case of coronavirus was announced Monday. That person is a worker at the NorthBay VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville who had been in close contact with a woman who was later transferred to another hospital.
The county’s second confirmed case of the virus was announced the next day. This second case was the patient who officials said died on Wednesday.
Health officials stress that handwashing and other basic steps that minimalize exposure are the best ways to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Gov. Newsom held a briefing at 4 p.m. regarding the state’s response to the coronavirus. Read more here: Governor Newsom Announces State Of Emergency In California Due To Coronavirus Spread