The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), working closely with the Department of Defense and other federal partners, is taking all reasonable steps to address an evolving public health emergency. As part of that effort, Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) – Point Mugu may receive American travelers coming through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) who, in an abundance of caution, would be quarantined to be monitored for symptoms of COVID-19 based solely on their travel history. Any travelers housed at the Base would be monitored for signs of infection and transferred to appropriate medical facilities if symptoms developed. The Department of Defense has made sites available around the country to house such travelers, and NBVC-Point Mugu was one site determined to be suitable for travelers requiring quarantine. At this time, HHS is preparing this site should it be needed in the rapidly evolving public health response. Any actions that HHS takes, working with federal, state, tribal and local partners to address this public health emergency, are being done in a way that protects both those quarantined and other citizens as well. Imported cases of COVID-19 from a small number of travelers have been detected in the U.S. but this virus is NOT currently spreading in U.S. communities and the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is believed to be low at this time.
Ventura County Public Health Department Safety Alert – Novel Coronavirus (Published 02 February 2020)
Ventura, CA – The Ventura County Public Health Department (VCPH) is working closely with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to prepare for and respond to the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak.
There have been reports of two possible cases in Ventura County. Samples were taken from both patients and sent to the CDC. Results for one patient were negative for the novel coronavirus. The other results are pending. The patient is in isolation until the results are provided. There have been no confirmed cases in Ventura County. VCPH is communicating with local health care providers on how to safely and effectively evaluate ill people who have been to China. VCPH will continue to monitor the situation, work with partners to identify any possible cases, provide information and consultation to ensure that possible cases are managed safely, support laboratory testing, and implement recommendations from the CDC. Currently, the health risk from the novel coronavirus to the general public is low.
The types of symptoms caused by this virus are still being learned. Some patients have had mild symptoms while a small number have experienced more severe symptoms, and a few have died. Cases have been diagnosed in several countries in Asia. Three cases have been identified in California and two have been identified in Illinois. The three cases in California have been identified in Los Angeles County, Orange County and Santa Clara County.
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals and humans. In rare cases, animal coronaviruses can be transmitted from animals to humans. The 2019 novel coronavirus is a newly discovered coronavirus that has not been previously detected in animals or humans. The source of the novel coronavirus is not yet known. Typically, human coronaviruses cause mild-to-moderate respiratory illness. Symptoms are very similar to the flu, including runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and shortness of breath.
Health care providers will assess patients, and if novel coronavirus infection is possible, they will contact the Communicable Disease division at VCPH. At this time, the only laboratory testing for the novel coronavirus is being done at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) laboratory. If a patient is suspected to be infected with the novel coronavirus, public health agencies will work with health care providers to ensure CDC testing can be completed.
If you have recently traveled to China, and you have become ill with fever, cough or shortness of breath, call your health care provider. Please be sure to tell your health care provider about your travel history.
As with any virus, especially during the flu season, VCPH reminds you of steps you can take to protect your health and those around you:
- Wash hands with soap and water.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If someone does become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough, they should stay away from work, school or other people to avoid spreading illness.
Ventura County Public Health – NEW!
- Update from Ventura County Public Health on 2019 Novel Coronavirus
- Actualización del Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de Ventura sobre el nuevo Coronavirus del 2019
For the most up to date information regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus, please visit visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
Media contact: Ashley Bautista, PIO, (805) 212-9484, Ashley.Bautista@ventura.org