VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - One person is currently under mandatory quarantine at Naval Base Ventura County - Point Mugu.
Representatives from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the County of Ventura Public Health held a press conference Wednesday to discuss the coronavirus quarantine site located at the base and the individual who is under quarantine.
Dr. Robert McDonald, medical officer from the CDC assigned to Point Mugu said a single traveler from Hubei province in China is at the base under federal quarantine order. The individual is a male and is considered to be asymptomatic, meaning he has not shown any symptoms. He arrived at the base after flying from Beijing on a commercial flight to LAX.
Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin clarified that those that are in quarantine have not yet been diagnosed with coronavirus, but are simply there for observation as they have been potentially exposed to the virus. If a person were to develop symptoms, they would be placed into isolation.
The man does not pose a risk to public, according to the CDC. Teams from the CDC and HHS will continue monitoring his condition. If he shows no signs or symptoms of Covid 19 after the 14-day quarantine period, he will be allowed to go home.
Jeanne Eckes, United States Department of Health and Human Services Incident Manager stationed at Point Mugu says HHS is handling all requests for the quarantined man. He is provided medical care 24 hours a day, access to physicians and meals. He is also allowed to go outside into the fresh air in a quarantine zone, Eckes said.
If symptoms do arise, that person will be transferred to a hospital which is ready to handle the disease control treatment. Dr. Levin said he believed that hospital was St. John's Medical Center.
"We are working with hospitals in our county. Our hospitals are very capable of handling such patients," Dr. Levin said.
No one who exhibits symptoms will be held on a base, according to the CDC.
The man, who is a United States citizen who lives outside of California, is checked daily and monitored for symptoms. All who interact with him wear protective gear at all times.
The man has not been diagnosed with Covid 19. He was placed in quarantine due to his travel from Hubei province during the coronavirus outbreak. The Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration are coordinating with air carriers and the CDC to identify anyone who may have been exposed to the coronavirus in their travels.
Dr. Levin said he would "not be surprised" if no more travelers arrive at Point Mugu. He said only 14 travelers have been identified as potential exposure risks through the current screening method, and only five of them have come through LAX.
Dr. Levin told reporter Senerey de los Santos that there are 15 people within Ventura County who are "self-quarantined" in their homes. They have no symptoms but are remaining in their homes due to recent travel.
He also emphasized that the rate of fatality related to Covid 19 is significantly lower than previous international outbreaks, including SARS and Ebola.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the same precautions taken for the flu should be taken for Covid 19. This includes taking time off from school or work if you develop a fever, use tissues to cover your mouth and nose, and regularly wash your hands.