The first local death from the novel coronavirus was reported in Los Angeles County on Wednesday. According to the head of the county Health Department, the victim was a woman in her 60s, who did not live in the United States, but was visiting friends here.
Dr. Barbara Ferrer said the woman had an extensive travel history, including a "long layover in South Korea."
Health officials also announced that six new cases had been confirmed in the county, bringing the local total to 29. Three of those cases were "household contacts," meaning they involved a previously confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19. One of those patients has been hospitalized. The other cases include two people who'd recently returned from traveling.
In addition to the newly confirmed cases announced today, the remaining cases so far announced by L.A. County include:
- Eight people who'd recently traveled to Italy.
- Two contract employees who were conducting coronavirus medical screenings of arriving passengers at Los Angeles International Airport;
- Two relatives of a person who lives outside the county and was also confirmed with the virus;
- One person who attended the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Conference in Washington D.C.
- A traveler from the area of Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. That person has since recovered.
- One person who recently traveled to Japan
- One person who recently returned from a trip to Iran
- One person who could be the first case of 'community transmission' in L.A. County.
Two cases in Long Beach are presumptive, until they are officially confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The current number of cases across Southern California also include:
- 5 cases in Orange County
- 6 cases in Riverside County
- 1 presumptive case in San Diego County
- 1 presumptive case in Ventura County
So far, the U.S. has seen more than 1130 cases and 32 deaths nationwide. The rapidly spreading coronavirus prompted the World Health Organization to declare the outbreak a pandemic today.
Meanwhile, two more local universities, Pepperdine and Cal State Long Beach, announced they would be transitioning students to taking classes online wherever possible.