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"California Reports First Coronavirus Death as Symptoms Swirl on Cruise Ship"

Dr. Jonathan Fielding, distinguished professor of health policy and management at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, was interviewed by the New York Times following the first reported death in California from coronavirus COVID-19.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency as California confronted a deepening sense of crisis over the spread of the coronavirus on Wednesday, when an older patient in the Sacramento area died from the virus and a cruise ship carrying 21 people with symptoms was held off the coast of San Francisco.

The person who died, in Placer County, was the 11th death linked to the virus in the United States, and the first outside of Washington State. The patient had underlying health conditions and was most likely exposed to the virus last month during international travel that included a cruise to Mexico, officials said.

Eleven passengers and 10 crew members who are still on that ship, the Grand Princess, were showing symptoms on Wednesday, Mr. Newsom said in an evening news conference. “That number may significantly understate” the scope of infection, he said, or “it may indeed be abundance of caution.” Public health officials prepared to screen everyone aboard the ship, which was not yet allowed to return to shore, Mr. Newsom said.