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Long Beach Health Officials Report First Presumptive Cases Of Coronavirus

LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — Long Beach health officials announced Monday that preliminary tests indicated that two men and a woman have contracted coronavirus.

One patient was hospitalized at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and is currently in stable condition while the other two were isolated at home, according to the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services.

"The patient has been in an isolation room since being identified as potentially having COVID-19 and is being provided with the very best care," Dr. James Leo, chief medical officer, said in a statement. "Staff members are following all infection control requirements, including following the guidelines of the CDC regarding exposure to patients with novel coronavirus, wearing masks, face shield/eye protection, gloves, gowns and other protective measures."

Officials said two of the patients traveled to an international area with known community transmission and one traveled domestically to an area of known community transmission.

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"These preliminary test results, and our response and coordination with public health and safety officials are being taken extremely seriously," Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement. "We strongly believe that COVID-19 is a threat to public health here in Long Beach and throughout the United States."

Because of the initial positive tests, the health department is said to be conducting an extensive contact investigation and following up with any individuals who might have been exposed, though they are not recommending the closure of schools or other public facilities.

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"Today, we have quickly transitioned from preparing for a case to now implementing containment efforts should there be additional individuals who test positive for COVID-19 in Long Beach," City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis said. "The emergency declarations that we announced earlier this week continue to assist us with the resources we need to respond to this for our community."

Cases are considered presumptive until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm the results. If confirmed, the total number of coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County would increase to 19.

"It's important to note that Long Beach is preparing aggressively and that we understand that this is a very serious global health crisis," Garcia said in an evening press conference. "We also want to note that the city is in constant communication with our partners."

Long Beach operates its own health department, separate from Los Angeles County.

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