COD weighs in on the Coronavirus outbreak


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California Gov. Gavin Newsome declared statewide emergency to deal with the Coronavirus on March 4, 2020.

Melissa Espinoza, Editor-In-Chief

Since late December 2019, China has been fighting what is now globally known as the Coronavirus or COVID-19, with the first known confirmed cases staring on Dec. 31 and the first death caused by the virus.

With the Chinese government still trying to figure out the kind of virus that was causing the illness, on Jan. 20, cases around the world began to surface in countries like Japan, Thailand and South Korea.

The first confirmed case in the United States happened on Jan. 21 in Washington State.

According to the New York Times, a man in his 30s contracted the virus after coming back from a trip to the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak is believed to have started.

With more cases continuing to rise, the number of countries fighting the virus is now over 80.

The United States at the moment has a relatively low amount of cases compared to countries like South Korea.

As of March 5, cases in the U.S. are at more than 225 around 16 states and  has confirmed 12 deaths with one in California and 10 in Washington.

On the same day, the city of Los Angeles had declared a state of emergency after confirming new cases in a two day time period. But late on the day, California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency after the first death related to the virus in California.

During a press conference, Placer County Health Officer Dr. Aimme Sisson confirmed the passing of an elderly adult, who developed symptoms after being on a Princess cruise and passed away on the morning of March 4 at the Kaiser Permanente Roseville.

Dr. Sisson added, “As health officer, I urge Plaster county residents to be vigilant and to take steps to protect themselves from COVID-19. Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands.”

With now 63 confirm cases in California, residents in the Coachella Valley have questions about what will happen next.

Rancho Mirage resident Judy Estey (77) said, “I was really scared when I heard about it, but I think we’ll be okay. We just have to be careful.”

While some residents seem to be worried, officials here in the valley are still moving forward with the big events happening soon. Events like Coachella Fest, Indian Wells Tennis Tournament and Stagecoach.

According to the Desert Sun, Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez said, “Residents and travelers to our region should know that the situation is safe.”

With no confirmed cases in Southern California, the situation seems to be secure here in the valley, however, officials acknowledge that this could change as developments continue across the country and the world.

And with activities still in progress, schools across the valley continue to stay open for students. At College of the Desert, students are carrying on with their classes.

COD student Craig Jordan said, “When I first heard about the virus I didn’t believe it. I’m not worried about it, I’m just making sure to stay clean and away from anyone who’s sick.”

The COD website has information on the situation. On the main page there is a Coronavirus update, where students can find information about the symptoms, ways to protect themselves and links to the California Department of Public Health and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the CDC’s website for people who are unlikely to be exposed to the virus, the health risks are low compared to healthcare providers who are caring for patients with COVID-19.

After almost three months of developments, there is still no answer as to when this will end. For now, people are advised to keep calm and follow some of the preventative steps that appear on the CDC’s page. Things like avoiding close contact with sick people, No touching eyes, nose and mouth, as well as disinfect objects and surfaces frequently.

However, as the story continues to change every day, more and more people seem to be in a state of panic and accounts about people cleaning up department store shelves and taking face masks, water, toilet paper, paper towels and other cleaning supplies begin to increase.

But COD’s natural resources professor, Kurt Leuschener believes people should stay calm. “I don’t think people should panic, don’t be scared. Just use common sense.”

Including Carl Goldman, who contracted the virus during a cruise trip with his wife. Goldman is in better condition now, but continues to be under quarantine and recommends people be careful.

“My recommendation to everyone is just be smart. This virus is something that is only a mild cold for 98% of the people. People think that I can transmit the virus via by iphone, I’m hearing all kinds of crazy things about how they think this virus can be transmitted, is not, there is no need to panic over this, just be cautious,” said Goldman during a FaceTime interview with NBC News.

For more information and prevention tips visit the CDC website at