School officials announced Friday they would close the school as a precaution after it was learned the employee was ill and being tested. The employee made a recent trip to a country with a known coronavirus outbreak and is not being identified due to privacy laws.
Public health officials issued exclusion orders to 71 students, telling them to self-quarantine. Those students may have come into contact with the sick individual. The actions were taken to prevent students and employees from possibly becoming sick, school officials said.
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Riverside County's health chief has 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 unidentified patient is undergoing testing at Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage.
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.
Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom says it's a matter of "when - not if" there will be more public school closures.