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Ventura County confirms first “presumptive positive” coronavirus case


VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - The Ventura County Public Health Lab revealed early Friday afternoon that it has confirmed one presumptive positive case of the novel coronavirus.

Secondary confirmation is pending from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A press release detailed how the patient had traveled on the Grand Princess Cruise Ship from San Francisco to Mexico, then returned to port in San Francisco on February 21.

Health officials confirm that this is the same ship on which an elderly adult traveled and later died in Placer County, after testing positive for COVID-19.

Travelers were not under travel restriction or health screenings when they returned, as the cruise destination was not on the list of at-risk destinations.

Princess Cruises began notifying passengers after the first person who rode on the cruiseliner died from the virus. Six people from Ventura County were aboard the ship at the same time as the elderly passenger that died.

One of the passengers contacted their primary care doctor, who requested they be tested for COVID-19. The Ventura County Public Health Lab confirmed preliminary positive results on Thursday.

Health officials said the patient was not feeling well after returning from the cruise and decided to stay home. The only time the patient left was to seek medical attention. Out of caution, the patient remained in their vehicle while dropping off a specimen for testing.

The patient is currently under home quarantine with mild symptoms. The patient's spouse, who was also a passenger on the ship, is also under home quarantine but has shown no symptoms.

The four remaining passengers have all been contacted by Ventura County Public Health. One passenger is showing symptoms and is being tested while the other three have no symptoms, health officials say.

“There is no evidence of community transmission in Ventura County. This is a travel related case. We appreciate our lab and nurses for quickly responding. Their swift action helped limit community exposure,” Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin said in a press release. “We understand the concern this new virus is causing. The risk to the public from COVID-19 remains low. Community members are encouraged to take the same steps they would take to help prevent colds and the flu. Preparing for social distancing is still recommended.”

The California Department of Public Health reports there are a total of 60 positive cases in California. 24 are travel-related cases.

As of Friday, there have been eight people tested in Ventura County, of which seven have tested negative.

There are two pending test results, 25 travelers on home quarantine, and one traveler under quarantine with no symptoms at Naval Base Ventura County – Point Mugu. 

Anyone presenting symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19 or had recent international travel is urged to contact a healthcare provider.

Article Topic Follows: Ventura County

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Beth Farnsworth

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