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First case of coronavirus reported in San Luis Obispo County

Posted at 7:44 PM, Mar 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-15 02:50:49-04

The first case of coronavirus has been reported in San Luis Obispo County according to local health officials.

According to the San Luis Obispo County Health Department, the person is a North County resident over the age of 65 with underlying health conditions.

The patient showed symptoms associated with the novel virus including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The person is at home recovering in isolation according to a public health press release.

Health officer, Dr. Penny Borenstein, is investigating and believes this is likely a case of community transmission.

The patient is helping local health officials in notifying people the patient may have been in contact with over the last few days to evaluate if testing and quarantine is needed for other individuals.

The department plans to notify the community if further actions and precautions are necessary.

"We have expected to see cases of COVID-19 in our county and have been planning and preparing accordingly,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein. “We are now encouraging the public to prepare for the likelihood of local community spread here as well, unrelated to this case, because that is what we have seen happen in other communities.”

The county increased local testing capacity earlier this week.

The individual called their doctor’s office in advance and was instructed to stay in their car upon arrival and not enter the waiting room, according to officials.

The physician met the patient at their car to consult and collect a swab. Health officials say these are the recommended steps to limit further transmission to the public and to health care providers.

“Our top priority is the health and safety of our community,” Dr. Borenstein said. “We appreciate our local health care providers for continuing to be vigilant by monitoring patients to help us identify potential COVID-19 cases.”

This is a developing story, check back later for details.