L.A. County confirms first coronavirus case from community spread

Los Angeles County announced its first coronavirus case of community spread, with the total number of cases rising by two to a total of 16.

L.A. County Public Health Department Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said that one of the two new cases is that of an individual who had a known travel history to Japan. The source of exposure of the second individual is currently unknown.

“This is our first case of community transmission in L.A. County and we will continue to see more cases of COVID-19,” Ferrer said. “We continue to urge everyone to do their part: Stay home if you are sick and keep your children home if they are sick; plan for the possibility of school and business closures.”

Both individuals are in isolation, and all close contacts are or will be quarantined for 14 days.

Ferrer said that anyone who has spent 10 minutes with an individual or came within 6 feet would be considered a close contact. Ferrer said that there has been a total of 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in L.A. County.

One individual has fully recovered, and the remaining 15 are isolated. Ferrer did not identify the specific location of any individual, but said that if a known public exposure occurs, residents would learn more information.

Ferrer estimated that 80 to 100 individuals have been tested for the virus at the county’s public health lab, but noted that the lab’s testing capacity is limited.

“We cannot, in L.A. County, test 1,000 people in a day,” she said. Ferrer recommended social distancing, and that individuals who are sick stay home in order to protect others who may be most vulnerable to the virus.

“We recognize that the most important thing we can do right now is to stay home when we’re sick – no matter how mild our symptoms are.” No school closure has been recommended in the county -– a decision she said that would be based on exposure.

Here is the latest breakdown of COVID-19 cases

• 8 involve a group of travelers who visited northern Italy, where the coronavirus has been widespread.

• 2 are connected to close contact to a coronavirus patient.

• 2 are Los Angeles International Airport workers.

• is a person who traveled from Japan.

• 1 lived in Wuhan, China.

• 1 came from from a conference in Washington state.

• 1 case is of unknown origin.