SUNNYVALE – Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety officers were possibly exposed to coronavirus Thursday morning when they gave CPR to a dying 72-year-old man they later learned had been on a cruise with others suspected of having the disease, authorities said.
The man, who was unconscious and not breathing, died despite the efforts of the seven officers, said Chief Phan S. Ngo at a news conference outside the department. Phan stressed that officers followed standard procedures, which do not include mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
A family member told officers the man had recently been on a cruise with two people suspected of having novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, said Ngo, adding that the Santa Clara County Public Health Department has not yet determined if the man died of the disease.
Earlier today our officers performed CPR on a 72-year-old patient who was unconscious and not breathing. Unfortunately, the patient didn’t survive. It was later learned the patient had recently been on a cruise with two passengers were suspected of having COVID19.
— Sunnyvale DPS (@SunnyvaleDPS) March 6, 2020
Ngo said the officers were quarantined at a city facility “out of an abundance of caution” and later sent home. The department is working with the county to determine when they can return to work.
“We are asking our community members to remain calm,” Ngo said. “We don’t yet know if the patient had COVID-19. The precautions we have taken exceed the recommendations by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).”
The family member has not been quarantined, Ngo said.
“There was no indication at this point that they have the virus,” Ngo said. “We’re just being extra careful and taking the steps to protect our officers, the department members and our community.”
It was not immediately clear if the man had traveled aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship Feb. 11 to Feb. 22. Two passengers on that trip are confirmed to have been infected with the virus, and on Wednesday, one became the first person in California to die from the disease.
News of the death came as the cruise ship was returning to San Francisco from its latest voyage. Officials ordered it to hold off the coast until its 3,500 passengers can be screened. Fewer than 100 have been identified for testing, the Associated Press reported.
Santa Clara County public health officials on Thursday confirmed six new cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the total to 20. They also called for new measures to prevent the virus from circulating in the community, including canceling large gatherings like sports games and conventions, and for businesses to suspend non-essential travel.
Also on Thursday, San Bruno temporarily closed its senior center amid concerns about a possible coronavirus exposure. The city said the facility at 1555 Crystal Springs Road was visited over the past few weeks by three individuals who recently traveled aboard the Grand Princess.
One of the individuals on Wednesday reported “low-level cold symptoms,” which have since subsided, according to the city. The others have not reported any symptoms.
“All three people have been contacted by health officials and advised to self-quarantine,” the city said.
Check back for updates