The county was holding at six positive cases of
COVID-19, none of which has been determined by the county Department of Public
Health Services to be the result of “community spread” yet according to health
A fifth and sixth pair of positive COVID-19 patients,
a husband and wife who acquired the virus when they were exposed to a positive
patient while traveling outside the United States, were at home in isolation, the
Public Health Department stated in a March 21 press release.
On March 22, the Central Union High School District
confirmed through a social media posting that one of the newly diagnosed COVID
patients was an employee at Southwest High School who had last worked on the
campus March 19. The employee, “who is not a classroom teacher and only has
limited interaction with students,” first experienced symptoms on March 20 and
did not report to work that day, according to the district’s post.
Reportedly, other Southwest employees who might have
come in contact with the COVID-positive patient were informed March 21 that
they needed to be in isolation for 14 days due to that exposure.
Neither county Public Health nor the Central Union
district were releasing further information about the employee or their spouse.
As of 8:41 p.m. March 21, some 11 patients were
awaiting test results from public health laboratories and some 36 tests had so
far come back negative for the virus. The negative tests were coming from a
combination of public health labs and private labs.
On March 20, a fourth positive COVID case was
announced by El Centro Regional Medical Center Chief Executive Office Adolphe
Edward, who during a morning Facebook Live press conference stated the case was
a “community-acquired” case.
Later that evening, county Public Health Department
officials issued a clarification that no case in Imperial County had yet to be
determined to be a case of “community spread,” or a case of the virus being
contracted between people while in Imperial County.
The department clarified that the state defines three
classifications of exposure history to COVID: “Travel-related,”
“community-acquired” and “person-to-person.” At the time of the clarification,
when only four cases had been confirmed, three were considered
“community-acquired,” meaning they were contracted by exposure within “any area
in the United States,” and the fourth was “person-to-person,” or the newly
diagnosed case having caught it from another COVID-positive patient.
“Determination of whether a case was acquired in
Imperial County will be based on the case investigation,” Public Health stated
in the March 20 clarification.
Other COVID-Related News
The Imperial County Public Health Department announced that the hours and days of operation for its COVID-19 Information Line for Imperial County residents had been extended to seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The number is 442-265-6700. For general questions or concerns about COVID-19 please call the local information line.