CoCo County receives 300 test kits for COVID-19

Contra Costa County, which now has four confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), has received 300 test kits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health officials said at a Friday afternoon news conference.

Officials with the Contra Costa County Health Services Department held the news conference to discuss Friday’s confirmation of three new novel coronavirus cases, including two Contra Costa County residents who were aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship docked off the coast of San Francisco.

Health officials also provided an update on the county’s first case, a patient who is listed in critical condition at a local hospital. The patient, who was confirmed to have contracted the virus on Tuesday, is not known to have a travel history putting them at risk to contract the virus and did not have close contact with another patient prior to showing symptoms.

The three new cases of COVID-19 are patients who are currently quarantined in their homes, according to the county. In addition to the two cruise ship passengers, the third patient, also a resident of the county, is confirmed to have had close contact with a coronavirus patient in another jurisdiction. All three patients are currently quarantined at home but are not sick enough to require hospitalization, officials said.

“We’re ramping up our testing, we’re doing more and more all the time,” said Dr. Ori Tzvieli, the county’s medical director for public health. “We expect to see more cases because of that and we’re looking to see where they’re coming from.”

While local public health officials are not recommending the closure of schools and busy public areas like restaurants and coffee shops, officials advised residents older than 50 and people with chronic medical conditions to avoid large crowds and events to reduce their risk of contracting the virus.

County officials also plan to discuss the virus on a conference call with local school district representatives on Monday. “We recognize that we’re asking people to take steps that are, to some, may be disruptive in their lives,” Health Services Department Director Anna Roth said. “We’re only asking the public to do steps that we believe will have a positive effect on reducing community risk from the coronavirus.”

As of Friday morning, there were 69 confirmed cases of the virus in California and one person had died, according to state health officials.

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