News from around the Ojai Valley

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Ventura County Health and Human Services provide update on Point Mugu coronavirus center today

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services held a press conference in Camarillo Wednesday, Feb. 26, in regard to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus quarantine center at Naval Base Ventura County-Point Mugu.
For a link to the entire press conference, visit
 A man is being quarantined at Naval Base Ventura County-Point Mugu, where it was announced late Sunday, Feb. 23, that the base might be used as a quarantine site for travelers being monitored for the novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19.
The traveler was taken to the base Sunday, Feb. 23, and local officials said the traveler is healthy and is being monitored based only on travel history. The traveler is a U.S. citizen who lives outside of California, who was going to travel from Beijing to LAX and then onward domestic travel.
The speakers were only willing to speak in regard to what is happening in Ventura County, not nationwide.
“We were able to prepare for the arrival of a traveler, and then a traveler arrived from LAX,” Dr. Robert McDonald, medical officer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said.
According to the press conference, the man does not pose any risk to the public and has no symptoms. If for any reason the person is found to have the disease, he will be transported to the hospital. 
The traveler is kept in a building of lodging rooms. There is a perimeter of fencing around that building, Jeanne Ecks, U.S. Health and Human services incident manager for Point Mugu, said at the conference. “The agreement that Health and Human Services has with the Department of Defense to provide these beds goes through the beginning of March,” Ecks said.
The base allots a maximum of 20 beds for potentially impacted travelers. If the individual were to show any symptoms, the individual would be brought by special emergency medical services groups to local hospitals.
People are released after 14 days of quarantine if they show no signs of illness or symptoms, the officials said.
At the conference Dr. Robert Levin, Ventura County Public Health officer, said all local hospitals are equipped to handle the virus. He said there are no cases of the virus in the county currently.
A community meeting — closed to the general public and media — was held Monday, Feb. 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the Pt. Mugu Theater. A doctor from the Centers for Disease Control was one of the speakers.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, working closely with the Department of Defense and other federal partners, is "taking all reasonable steps to address an evolving public health emergency," presented by COVID-19, according to a press release from HHS late Sunday.
At 1:30 p.m. today, Orange County officials announced a local emergency as well as a local health emergency in response to novel coronavirus. This announcement comes one day after San Francisco declared a local emergency Feb. 25. 
Eighty-thousand people are infected with the coronavirus worldwide, according to the CDC.
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