Second case of COVID-19 confirmed; declaration to ensure adequate resources

Update 11:20 am: Placer County Public Health is reporting that a resident has died of COVID-19. The person, an elderly adult with underlying health conditions, was the second confirmed case of COVID-19 in the county and is now the first to die from the illness in California.

AUBURN, Calif. – Placer County Public Health is reporting a second case of COVID-19 after a hospitalized patient tested presumptively positive, pending confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The county has also declared a local health emergency and proclaimed a local emergency to ensure public health professionals have all necessary tools at their disposal to keep the community safe.

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Cruise ship connection likely

The new case is an older adult whose exposure likely occurred during international travel on a Princess cruise ship that departed from San Francisco to Mexico – the same Feb. 11-21 cruise associated with a confirmed Sonoma County case announced previously. The Placer patient is critically ill and in isolation at a local hospital. Close contacts of the patient are being quarantined and monitored.

As the case appears connected to travel, it most likely does not represent an instance of local community spread.

Additional cases of Coronavirus expected

“We expect to see additional cases in coming days, including cases of community spread, not linked to travel,” said Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson. “We are declaring these emergencies today so we will be able to activate and deploy resources to adequately respond to an increase in cases.”

The declaration and proclamation empower the county to more effectively respond to COVID-19, seek and utilize mutual aid, potentially obtain reimbursement and coordinate communications with stakeholders and the community. The local health emergency and local emergency will be considered for ratification by the Board of Supervisors at a meeting next week.

Placer County Public Health continues to remind the public to take simple steps to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses including COVID-19:

  • Washing hands with liquid soap and water, and rubbing for at least 20 seconds, or using alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing;
  • Staying home if you are sick; and
  • Regularly cleaning surfaces touched by many people.

Healthy people do not need to use a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses like COVID-19. People who are sick and must go out can wear a face mask to reduce the spread of germs.

Placer County Public Health continues to encourage that the public plan ahead for potential disruption to daily life at work, school or home that could result from community spread in the future. Public Health is working with partners in health care, education, business, law enforcement and others to prepare.

Please visit Placer County’s novel coronavirus web page for preparedness resources and updates at

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Illness Severity

Both MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV have been known to cause severe illness in people. The complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully understood. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, including illness resulting in death. While information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild, a reportexternal icon out of China suggests serious illness occurs in 16% of cases. Older people and people with certain underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example, seem to be at greater risk of serious illness.


Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • A shortness of breath

Call your healthcare professional if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.

  • China
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • South Korea
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