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LAX Worker Among the Los Angeles Coronavirus Patients


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A staff member at Los Angeles International Airport is among the six new cases of coronavirus patients announced by county officials Wednesday. 

The unidentified worker screens incoming flights from China and nearby countries, airport officials said. It is unclear if anyone else was compromised. 

The airport announced a number of new efforts to combat any spread of the virus in the facility, including installing more than 250 additional hand sanitizer stations throughout terminals, cleaning public areas and restrooms at least once per hour using virus and bacteria-killing disinfectants, and increasing deep cleaning throughout the airport, focusing on “high touch” areas such as airport handrails, escalators, elevator buttons and restroom doors. 

The California Department of Public Health announced Thursday that the state now has 53 confirmed cases.

The state and Los Angeles County (and city) declared an emergency Wednesday due to the six new cases. The county case total is seven.

Also Wednesday, California announced the state’s first death amid the outbreak. Health officials in Northern California say the victim was an elderly man who had other health conditions. He died Wednesday at a hospital in Roseville where he was in isolation.

The Los Angeles County cases were confirmed Tuesday night and all the new cases were linked to a known exposure source, officials said. Ages, genders and locations of the patients were not specified.

County health officials, along with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, implored residents to wash their hands often and to avoid physical social interactions, such as hugs and handshakes. They also said anyone with any illness, no matter how minor, should stay home.

County officials also asked that businesses and schools be understanding with employees who wish to work from home.

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