San Bernardino County reported its first case of COVID-19 on Sunday.
The patient is a 53-year-old woman who went to the emergency department at Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center on Thursday and reported symptoms associated with the novel coronavirus, according to county officials.
She returned from London “sometime last week,” authorities said.
The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health is working on identifying people who may have had contact with the patient, whose city of residence has not been announced. The agency urged anyone who may be experiencing symptoms of a contagious illness to seek medical care and refrain from attending school or work.
Officials said while the risk to the public remains low, everyone should take precautionary measures.
“We knew it was only a matter of time before we recorded our first case,” said acting county Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson in a statement. “This does not change our level of readiness and alert because the county is in a state of emergency, we are prepared from a public health standpoint, and our residents, cities, businesses and other key communities have been informed about safe practices.”
San Bernardino County had already declared a local health emergency on March 10 in an effort to ensure necessary resources to fight the outbreak. Soon after, the San Bernardino County public health officer ordered gatherings of more than 250 people within the county to be postponed or canceled until further notice.
Surrounding regions, including Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange counties, have reported numerous cases of COVID-19.