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Fresno County has declared a local health emergency after a 2nd local case of COVID-19 was confirmed Saturday by the county Department of Public Health.

In a statement, health department officials said the new case of the disease, caused by the novel coronavirus, is travel-related and was not community acquired.

The local emergency takes effect immediately. County supervisors are scheduled to ratify the status on Tuesday.

While the health department said local risk levels have not increased, the emergency proclamation gives more authority to the county’s health officer to respond to changing conditions.

“We are proclaiming a local emergency to more efficiently respond to the event at hand and to better respond as a community,” said Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra.

‘Local Emergency’ Provides Health Officer Broad Authority

Under state law, a local emergency declaration allows county officials to “take any action the local health officer deems necessary to control the spread” of a communicable disease.

The county’s statement offered no additional details on the condition of the infected individual or their treatment status.

Health officials said they are conducting contact tracing “to monitor the health of people that traveled with or were in contact with the patient to prevent the spread in our community.”

The first Fresno County case of COVID-19 was reported on March 9 when a local man over the age of 65 returned to the area from a Princess cruise aboard the ship Grand Princess in late February.

Additional information on Fresno County’s coronavirus response can be found on the Department of Public Health website.

This story will be updated.

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