Riverside Co. resident who was part of Diamond Princess quarantine is diagnosed with coronavirus

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A Riverside County resident who was aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship while it was under mandatory quarantine earlier this month has tested positive for COVID-19, also known as novel coronavirus, health officials said Tuesday.

The Riverside University Health System did not release any additional information about the patient, who is being treated at a medical facility in Northern California.

That person is in good condition and is being closely monitored. There are no early indications that others were exposed to the virus in Riverside County, public health officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said in a news release.

No further details about the illness were released.

More than 3,600 passengers were kept in their cabins for two weeks aboard the Diamond Princess off the Japanese port city of Yokohama starting on Feb. 3 after someone who had already left the ship was diagnosed with coronavirus.

The ship had more than 600 confirmed cases of the virus, the Associated Press reported.

About 350 Americans were evacuated from the ship and flown back to the U.S. last week. They were then quarantined at Air Force bases in Northern California and Texas.

Of the 57 patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the U.S., 40 were passengers on the Diamond Princess. There are eight total cases in California.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday sounded the alarm over the potentially deadly virus, saying it is now only a matter of when — not if — the disease will spread in the U.S. It’s too early to tell how severe the illness will be when it hits the U.S., but CDC officials are urging hospitals, businesses and communities to start preparing.

The number of worldwide cases has topped 80,000, with the vast majority of illnesses in China. At least 2,700 deaths have been reported.

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