Coronavirus: 3 new cases reported in Riverside County

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- Health officials announced three new cases of the novel coronavirus Monday in Riverside County.

The three new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the Coachella Valley area, according to a news release from Riverside University Health System-Public Health.

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Health officials said the new infections were the result of either travel into areas where coronavirus has been confirmed or contact with a known case.

On Saturday, Kaiser announced Riverside County's first "locally-acquired" coronavirus case. The patient is being cared for at Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage.

On Sunday, Riverside County's health chief declared a local health emergency following the disclosure of two novel coronavirus cases in the county.

The declaration was a response in particular to the county's first "locally acquired" case of the virus -- one not tied to the individual's travel abroad.

The other known case in a county resident was diagnosed in a person who was a passenger on the Diamond Princess cruise ship who was diagnosed last week and is recovering at a medical facility in Northern California.

That person has not returned to Riverside County since leaving the cruise ship, officials said.

The county had already activated a medical health department operations center to better coordinate public messaging and planning with agencies in the community.

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Kaiser's declaration will be submitted to the county Board of Supervisors for expected ratification at the board's meeting on Tuesday, March 10.

In the Coachella Valley, officials with the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells weren't taking any chances and canceled the popular tennis tournament, which was set to begin Monday.

Since the novel coronavirus outbreak was first recognized in Wuhan, China in December 2019, there are nearly 110,000 cases worldwide, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

More than 80,000 of those cases are in mainland China. The United States has more than 500 cases. Total deaths worldwide has reached more than 3,800 with 22 deaths in the United States, including two in Northern California.
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