Coronavirus ripple effect on health, travel industries and Chinese community

The coronavirus outbreak and fears of exposure continue to cause a ripple effect in the health and travel industries, as well as the Chinese community. 

In Contra Costa County, a handful of people have been tested, but so far there are no positive cases.

"We don’t discuss number of people we might be investigating or testing for possible coronavirus,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano with Contra Costa Health Services. He said the county is prepared to handle cases, if they get any.

Hospitals are doing travel screenings and are asking people with respiratory symptoms like coughing or shortness of breath, if they have recently been to China.

“And so they are going to ask if people have traveled from China in the last 14 days. And if there’s someone who is a traveler who has symptoms, all the hospitals have procedures to make sure health care workers are safe to put on masks and gloves,” said Farnitano.

If someone has recently been to China and is sick, Farnitano says, “If they are sick enough to need to be hospitalized, they are usually placed in what we call a negative pressure room where the air is specially circulated and filtered.”

Others are told to self-quarantine at home. Family members who have had close contact are monitored as well.

In San Francisco, Randy Quezada with the Port of San Francisco said people who have visited China, Hong Kong, and Macau in the last 14 days are not allowed to board a cruise ship. If a passenger or crew member has symptoms consistent with coronavirus on a cruise ship – the captain would notify the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard would work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and to get health treatment.