California Department of Public Health

California is responding to the spread of a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Cases of COVID-19 are also being reported internationally and in the United States. California is actively working with the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local governments, health facilities, and health care providers across the state to prepare and protect Californians from COVID-19.

WHAT IS COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals and humans. This novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is a newly discovered coronavirus that has not been previously detected in animals or humans. The source of this virus is not yet known.

COVID-19 in California by the Numbers:
As of March 22, 2020, 2 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, there are a total of 1,733 positive cases and 27 deaths in California (including one non-California resident). 

Ages of all confirmed positive cases:

  • Age 0-17: 25 cases

  • Age 18-49: 837 cases

  • Age 50-64: 442 cases

  • Age 65 and older: 415 cases

  • Unknown: 14 cases

24 – Cases of positive tests related to federal repatriation flights
1,709 – Cases not related to repatriation flights

In order to better focus public health resources on the changing needs of California communities, beginning on March 18, the state is no longer collecting information about California travelers returning from countries that have confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks. Community transmission of COVID-19 has been identified in California since late February, and since early March, most of the confirmed cases in the state were not related to travel outside of the United States.

Twenty-two public health labs in California are testing samples for COVID-19. These labs include the California Department of Public Health's Laboratory in Richmond, Alameda, Contra Costa, Humboldt, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Monterey, Napa-Solano-Yolo-Marin (located in Solano), Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sonoma, Tulare and Ventura County public health laboratories The Richmond Laboratory will provide diagnostic testing within a 48-hour turnaround time. This means California public health officials will get test results sooner, so that patients will get the best care.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU THINK YOU'RE SICK?

Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19, or recently traveled to countries with apparent community spread, call your health care provider before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?

Typically, human coronaviruses cause mild-to-moderate respiratory illness. Symptoms are very similar to the flu, including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

COVID-19 can cause more severe respiratory illness.

WHAT IF I HAVE SYMPTOMS?

Patient: If a person develops symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, and has reason to believe they may have been exposed, they should call their health care provider before seeking care. Contacting them in advance will make sure that people can get the care they need without putting others at risk. Please be sure to tell your health care provider about your travel history. You can also take the following precautionary measures: avoid contact with sick individuals, wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

Health Care Provider: Patients who may have infection with this novel coronavirus should wear a surgical mask and be placed in an airborne infection isolation room. If an airborne infection isolation room is not available, the patient should be placed in a private room with the door closed. Health care providers should use standard, contact and airborne precautions and use eye protection. Please see "Update and Interim Guidance on Outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan, China" for more information about infection control. The Public Health Department will issue All Facility Letters to regulated healthcare facilities within California with updated information and guidance; these can be found on the AFL webpage

    

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