County Investigates New Cases of Coronavirus; Text Alert System Announced

San Diego County health officials Tuesday announced they were investigating two small local clusters of coronavirus.

Dr. Eric McDonald, medical director of the San Diego County Health Services Epidemiology and Immunization Services Branch. at a news conference, said one cluster includes four individuals who contracted COVID-19 in the community. They are known to each other, some being active duty members. One of those individuals has been hospitalized, the other three are on home isolation.

One of the infected active duty members was previously identified as being the Navy's first case of coronavirus.

A second larger cluster includes seven individuals, also known to each other, who recently traveled to Colorado for a ski trip. One of the seven has been hospitalized while the others are undergoing home isolation.

"When I say the word cluster, it's in fact, individuals who are close contacts of each other," said Dr. Eric McDonald. It's usually identified when one person presents for care we do interviews. Those individuals who are close contacts may endure symptoms, and we encourage them to go in and seek care," he said.

He noted that the of individuals that got sick during the ski trip will be able to contain the cluster from spreading. The smaller group of mixed civilian and active duty members is still under investigation.

"I would expect other clusters to be identified, that's why we do these contact investigations," he said. "We urge people if they develop symptoms who are close contacts to be tested so we that can draw a circle around to be able to contain it."

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were still 55 positive tests for coronavirus in the county.

San Diego County Offers Text Message Alert

County residents can now receive information about the novel coronavirus via text thanks to the County COVID-19 public information text message alert system. The system allows County health officials to send real-time information about COVID-19 in the region. To sign up to receive the messages, text COSD COVID19 to 468-311.

The system was set up to let County public health officials issue information and instructions on changes related to COVID-19 in the region.

(Photo credit 10News)

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