Placer County confirms second case of COVID-19; declares local health emergency to ensure adequate resources

Published on March 3, 2020

Placer County Public Health is reporting a second case of COVID-19 after a hospitalized patient tested presumptively positive, pending confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The county has also declared a local health emergency and proclaimed a local emergency to ensure public health professionals have all necessary tools at their disposal to keep the community safe.

The new case is an older adult whose exposure likely occurred during international travel on a Princess cruise ship that departed from San Francisco to Mexico – the same Feb. 11-21 cruise associated with a confirmed Sonoma County case announced previously. The Placer patient is critically ill and in isolation at a local hospital. Close contacts of the patient are being quarantined and monitored.

As the case appears connected to travel, it most likely does not represent an instance of local community spread.

 “We expect to see additional cases in coming days, including cases of community spread, not linked to travel,” said Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson. “We are declaring these emergencies today so we will be able to activate and deploy resources to adequately respond to an increase in cases.”

The declaration and proclamation empower the county to more effectively respond to COVID-19, seek and utilize mutual aid, potentially obtain reimbursement and coordinate communications with stakeholders and the community. The local health emergency and local emergency will be considered for ratification by the Board of Supervisors at a meeting next week.

Placer County Public Health continues to remind the public to take simple steps to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses including COVID-19:

  • Washing hands with liquid soap and water, and rubbing for at least 20 seconds, or using alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing;
  • Staying home if you are sick; and
  • Regularly cleaning surfaces touched by many people.

Healthy people do not need to use a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses like COVID-19. People who are sick and must go out can wear a face mask to reduce the spread of germs.

Placer County Public Health continues to encourage that the public plan ahead for potential disruption to daily life at work, school or home that could result from community spread in the future. Public Health is working with partners in health care, education, business, law enforcement and others to prepare.

 Please visit Placer County’s novel coronavirus web page for preparedness resources and updates at