Today Los Angeles County declared a state of emergency after health officials confirmed six more COVID-19 cases and said to brace for more as testing picks up in the West Coast’s biggest city. And New York City noted a 10-person cluster.

None of the Los Angeles cases involving the novel coronavirus were linked to the city’s first case, which was diagnosed in January. But all of the new cases were exposed after close contact with other known patients or had traveled to a coronavirus hot spot, the Los Angeles Times reported today. Declaring an emergency will allow LA County to ask the state and other counties for more money, if needed.

Also today, Placer County—north of Sacramento—announced a death from COVID-19 in an elderly patient with underlying health issues. The patient had been aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship, which departed Feb 10 from San Francisco and sailed to Mexico, returning Feb 21. This is California’s first death related to the virus, and the nation’s first death outside of the Seattle area.

“While most cases of COVID-19 exhibit mild or moderate symptoms, this tragic death underscores the urgent need for us to take extra steps to protect residents who are particularly vulnerable to developing more serious illness, including elderly persons and those with underlying health conditions,” said Placer County Health Officer Aimee Sisson, MD in a press statement.

Placer County said 10 healthcare workers and 5 emergency responders who came in close contact with the patient have been placed in quarantine.

Shmuel Spiegelman [CC BY-SA 1.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Nine new cases in NYC cluster

Read more at CIDRAP…