First California coronavirus death confirmed in Placer County
Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in connection with the coronavirus outbreak.
The declaration comes after a Placer County resident’s death was related to the virus, also known at COVID-19. The man had been on a cruise ship that is being held off the coast of California because 11 passengers and 10 crew members have exhibited coronavirus symptoms, Newsom said during a news conference Wednesday. The man who died was traveling with another person who is now sick and being monitored in Sonoma County.
“The State of California is deploying every level of government to help identify cases and slow the spread of this coronavirus,” Newsom said. “This emergency proclamation will help the state further prepare our communities and our health care system in the event it spreads more broadly.”
The Placer County patient who died was exposed to the coronavirus between Feb. 11 and Feb. 21 during a trip on a Princess cruise ship that departed from San Francisco to Mexico.
Newsom said more than half of 2,500 aboard the February cruise, which docked in San Francisco, are California residents.
That cruise ship, called the Grand Princess,
then went on to Hawaii, with many of the same passengers who were on
the Mexico trip with the Placer County patient and the same crew, Newsom
said. The ship was traveling back to California when it was stopped off
Newsom said California will be flying thousands of test kits out to the ship. The tests can be conducted in a San Francisco Bay Area lab.
“There’s a reason that we didn’t want the ship in the Port of San Francisco and in the state of California at this time,” Newsom said.
According to the California Office of Emergency Services, the emergency proclamation will provide more resources and protect consumers.
“The emergency proclamation includes provisions that protect consumers against price gouging, allow for health care workers to come from out of state to assist at health care facilities, and give health care facilities the flexibility to plan and adapt to accommodate incoming patients,” Cal OES said in a statement.
Newsom said the state is particularly focused on senior centers, nursing homes and other care facilities where people live together in light of the outbreak in Washington state that has already killed 10 there.