A person who works in a Chula Vista AT&T store but lives in another county has tested positive for the coronavirus, and city officials said Thursday the person had “close, yet minimal contact” with other people.
San Diego County health officials informed the city Wednesday that the individual had tested presumptive positive for the coronavirus, or COVID-19. The person is a resident of another California county and had recently traveled to a high-risk region as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, according to the city. People who came into contact with the patient will be monitored for 14 days.
“The city of Chula Vista is providing this information out of an abundance of caution,” according to a statement from the city. “The city of Chula Vista believes the current risk to our community is low and will continue to coordinate with the county of San Diego to monitor the on-going situation.”
No other details were released about the patient, but in a statement to Fox5, AT&T confirmed that one of its employees in Chula Vista had tested positive, prompting the closure of several of its retail stores in the area.
“A retail store employee in San Diego has received a `presumptive’ positive test for COVID-19,” company spokesman Fletcher Cook told the station. “The positive test has not yet been confirmed by the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Out of an abundance of caution, yesterday we closed and deep-cleaned several stores in the area that this employee or colleagues in close contact to this employee may have visited recently. Those stores will reopen today.”
The affected stores were in Chula Vista, Escondido, San Marcos, Oceanside, National City and Vista, he said.
According to 10News, the patient is an Orange County resident who recently traveled to Italy.
County officials advised all involved people to follow the CDC guidance for self-quarantine.
At noon, San Diego County Chairman Greg Cox and Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten will be joined by medical, education and business leaders to provide an update on efforts to prepare the community for the potential emergence of the COVID-19 virus.
“The appearance of this novel coronavirus in our community is very likely and regional efforts to prepare and respond are on the rise,” according to a county statement.
The first U.S. death from the disease was reported Saturday in the Pacific Northwest. Public health officials said the victim was a man in his 50s and a resident of King County, Washington, who had underlying health issues. As of Wednesday night, 11 people have died in the United States from the illness, including a person outside Sacramento, the first outside of Washington.
In a report from San Diego County health officials updated Friday, a total of 390 people were monitored for the disease and 249 people have completed their monitoring. The remaining 141 are monitoring their health under the supervision of public health officials, the county report said.
The report also said there were no confirmed positive cases in the county, except for two cases of people who were under federal quarantine at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar after repatriation flights from Wuhan, China, on Feb. 5 and Feb. 7. Test results in San Diego County are still pending for five people, including Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees.
Thirteen patients tested negative in the county, according to the report, for a total of 18 people tested.
The county Board of Supervisors last week unanimously reaffirmed and extended a local health emergency declaration in response to concerns about the outbreak. But county officials stressed that the risk of contracting the virus locally remains low.
President Donald Trump gave a televised update on the outbreak Saturday, when he announced new travel restrictions involving Iran and warnings about travel to parts of Italy and South Korea, where high virus activity has been reported.
In answer to a reporter’s question, Trump said his administration was “thinking about” possibly closing the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent further spread of the disease, but later appeared to back off that answer, saying he didn’t think that would be necessary.