First two cases of coronavirus confirmed in Monterey County Residents acquired virus during international travel

Staff report

Two Monterey County residents have tested positive for novel coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19, the Monterey County Health Department announced today. These are the first laboratory-confirmed cases among residents of Monterey County.

The two people who are ill with the disease are recovering at home in isolation. Health department officials believe that they acquired COVID-19 during international travel.

The tests were performed at Monterey County’s Public Health Laboratory, which began testing for COVID-19 on March 6, and has since performed nearly 100 tests for COVID-19. 

In consultation with the Health Department, the individuals went to a local emergency department, where they were quickly isolated and evaluated utilizing protocols developed and implemented by local hospitals.

The individuals will stay home until cleared by the Monterey County Health Department, and are cooperating with the health department in its investigation. The department is now reaching out to other people who may have been in close contact with the individuals in recent days to determine if additional testing and quarantine management is needed.  

“Our public health and health care systems have been planning and preparing since early January.  We anticipated that we would see cases of COVID-19 in our county. Now, we must continue to practice behaviors that will reduce the spread of all respiratory illnesses including COVID-19,”  said Dr. Edward Moreno, Monterey County Health Officer and Director of Public Health, in a press release issued by the county today.  

People who feel ill are advised to stay home until they feel better, and to avoid public or crowded areas. Do not visit the emergency room unless it is for serious illness and medical emergencies like injuries, difficulty breathing, chest pain, and altered levels of consciousness.

Most otherwise healthy individuals with mild respiratory symptoms may not need to see a medical provider. He or she may advise you to stay home, to come into the office for evaluation and wear a mask, or to go to an alternate care location like an emergency department if you are severely ill.

For more information about 2019-nCoV, please visit:

Or call:

  • 2-1-1 Monterey County
  • Monterey County Health Department’s Communicable Disease Unit at 831-755-4521


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