Riverside County health officials on Sunday urged the public not to panic after confirming the first locally acquired case of the novel coronavirus in the county.
The patient, first announced late Saturday, is currently being treated at Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage. Health officials are working to determine how that individual contracted the virus and are following up on people who may have been exposed, according to the Riverside University Health System.
In a news conference on Sunday, Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said he’s proclaiming a local public health emergency, which will be subject to ratification at the Riverside County Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday.
Kaiser emphasized that the case has no known connection to local schools, adding that the risk remains low within the community.
He urged residents to do what they would normally do to avoid catching any respiratory illness, such as the flu.
“We don’t want people to panic. We want people to do the sensible things to protect themselves,” said Michael Connors, infection prevention expert at Eisenhower Health.
Another Riverside County resident was previously diagnosed with COVID -19, but that person has not returned home since disembarking a cruise ship in Northern California. That patient is currently recovering at a medical facility there, according the the Riverside University Health System.
The latest information from state officials, last updated Saturday morning, indicates at least 88 positive cases of COVID-19—24 of which are from repatriation flights. A Placer County resident who returned from an international cruise remained the only person who has died of the virus in California.