According to a statement provided to Pasadena Now from Pasadena Health Director Ying Ying Goh, since Feb. 3, the Centers for Disease Control has given the Public Health Department the names of over 50 people living in Pasadena for self-quarantine due to concerns they could have been exposed to the Coronavirus.
It is not known if all of the people did place themselves in self-isolation.
“Many of them have completed the 14 days (it’s been more than 14 days since they returned or were potentially exposed) and have not reported illness,” Goh said Sunday.
Goh called a public health emergency on Wednesday. Currently there are no known cases of the virus in Pasadena. Goh and doctors from Huntington Hospital are scheduled to update the City Council tonight.
“Since Feb. 3, the federal government announced that all travelers returning from China would be asked by the US CDC to self-quarantine for 14 days,” Goh told Pasadena Now. “Local health departments have been given names and contact information and help to monitor and support these people.”
“These Americans are asymptomatic [without symptoms] when they are screened at the airport. There have been over 9,000 of these Americans that have returned to California, and I have heard L.A. County officials state publicly that there are thousands in L.A. County. In Pasadena, we have been given names for over 50 people. None of the people we have monitored from China or the Grand Princess have reported symptoms.”
The Grand Princess ship is owned and operated by the Princess Cruises line. Three people who traveled aboard the Grand Princess in early February developed coronavirus, and one of those, a 71-year-old California man, died. His was the first coronavirus death in the state.
There are 9,700 people in self-quarantine in California.
“We currently do not have anyone in Pasadena who is being tested through public health for COVID-19. As commercial laboratories begin testing, any provider or lab that has a positive COVID-19 test is required to report this to the local public health department immediately,” said Goh.
It is not known how the Pasadenans identified by the CDC were monitored by the Pasadena Public Health Department and how many people are still in self-quarantine. People who are asymptomatic and on self-monitoring are asked to stay separated from family members to the extent possible. Individual arrangements depend on the individual’s living situation, according to Goh.
According to the CDC, under a self-quarantine, the local Public Health Department assumes the responsibility of oversight for self-monitoring. The CDC recommends the department establish communication, provide a plan for self-monitoring and clear instructions for notifying the department if symptoms develop.
In total, there are 107,897 cases of COVID-19 and 3,658 deaths worldwide, as of early Sunday. More than 60,000 people have recovered from the virus.
In the US, 469 cases have been diagnosed, and 19 people have died. Schools have been closed in parts of Washington state.
The World Health Organization has labeled the coronavirus outbreak a “very high” risk of spread and impact, but has so far stopped short of declaring it a global pandemic.
On Saturday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said at some point the virus will impact local schools. State officials released guidelines on how schools should handle the virus.
Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Brian McDonald issued a statement on the virus.
“PUSD is preparing and planning to keep our students and staff safe. At this time, there are no plans for imminent school closures.
“The district is updating its protocols and preparing plans for virtual learning for schools in the event of a prolonged emergency.”
California Health and Human Services Agency Director Mark Ghaly said health officials would change the way they test for the virus by “shifting from order and community containment to one where we acknowledge that community spread is possible.”
Newsom said the state also currently has a shortage of coronavirus testing kits and has worked with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to update the testing protocols for the coronavirus.