Los Angeles County declared a state of local emergency Wednesday morning after six new cases of COVID-19 were detected in the city, bringing the total case count to seven.
All of the cases, which were confirmed Tuesday night, were connected to a known exposure. Three of the infected patients were traveling together in northern Italy, two people were in close contact with a COVID-19-positive patient, and one person had traveled abroad on a business trip.
LA County Public Health is making major announcements regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in LA County. Tune in to watch the press conference.
Posted by County of Los Angeles on Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Five of the patients have self-isolated in their homes and one patient is in the hospital. There are still no known cases of community transmission in L.A. County, director of the Department of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said.
The new designation will allow the city to use resources from the federal government to address growing concern over the spread of the coronavirus.
Pasadena and Long Beach also declared states of emergency, although there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in those cities.
Ferrer asked the public to plan for social distancing, school closures, and business disruptions. They also asked Los Angeles businesses to relax their sick-leave policies to not require doctor’s notes from returning employees.
L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti signed a declaration of a state of local emergency Wednesday morning for the city. He said while the city has taken precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19, it is likely there will be more cases of the virus in the coming weeks.