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San Diego woman with presumptive positive COVID-19 hospitalized in good condition

Posted at 7:09 AM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 10:09:15-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The patient with a presumptive positive test for COVID-19 is in good condition at Scripps Green Hospital in Torrey Pines, 10News learned.

The woman, who is in her 50s, returned from an overseas trip roughly two weeks ago. She began showing symptoms of the coronavirus on March 8.

San Diego County health officials say the woman is the first local resident to test positive for the virus.

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"She had other issues for which she was at the hospital, that had nothing to do with COVID-19, and then she developed symptoms and then went back, and that's when the assessment and evaluation was made, and so we had our test results on Monday, she developed symptoms two days before," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego County's public health officer.

According to Wooten, so far, health officials have identified two close contacts and "some" hospital staff who interacted with the woman. They are now in quarantine at home.

On Tuesday, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted to create a subcommittee to deal with the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The board unanimously appointed Supervisors Greg Cox and Nathan Fletcher to lead it.

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In addition to the subcommittee, the county has taken several other steps, including extending its local emergency proclamation, establishing an incident command center, and placing 86 hand-washing stations throughout the city and county. The county is also working with 18 other cities across the region to do the same.

"As a country, with us now surpassing 600 cases, I think it is realistic to assume this problem will get worse before it gets better and I think that all of our collective actions and efforts are designed to try to mitigate the impact, to slow down the spread, to provide treatment as quickly as we can,” said Fletcher.

The county is also looking at locations to house patients who may test positive or have symptoms, but not serious enough to be in a hospital.

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"That could be true for someone who comes in from the Princess Cruise lines, that could be true for someone who is from a homeless situation who can't stay in a shelter, or can't stay on the streets, we don't want them to, that could be true for our seniors who might live in a congregate care setting who we don't want them to remain in those settings so that is something that I know that we're going to have to do to address," said Fletcher.

County health officials also said they're exploring the possibility of drive-thru testing and other innovative ways to limit in-person contact.

The county currently has enough test kits to collect specimens from roughly 300 patients, but more tests are expected by next week.