COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update:

Coronavirus update for residents of South LA

UPDATED 3/27/20 @ 11:11 a.m. This advisory has been updated since it was first published on Feb. 7 to reflect the most current information.

For more information on MLKCH’s response, please contact: Gwen Driscoll, senior director of brand communications, MLKCH: 310-720-4441 /

Please note that MLKCH has updated its visitation policy.  Please see our updated policy before coming to the hospital.

Willowbrook -- In light of the ongoing spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital (MLKCH) wishes to advise residents of our Service Area as to health precautions they can take and MLKCH’s response and preparedness efforts.

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, defined as a regional outbreak of an illness that spreads unexpectedly.WHO officials stressed that with proper prevention and avoidance, all countries can reduce threat of further transmission.

See the latest COVID-19 update from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

COVID-19 is caused by a member of the coronavirus family that’s a close cousin to the SARS and MERS viruses that have caused outbreaks in the past. The disease is caused by a virus called 2019-nCoV. Symptoms of this virus can include fever, runny nose, cough and breathing trouble.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19, or recently traveled to countries with apparent community spread, call your health care provider or local public health department first before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.  See a list of high-risk countries.

Most who are infected with the virus either do not develop symptoms or develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually older adults or those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms. 

As of March 27, there are 1,465 cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County and 3,006 cases in California.

Those most at risk of developing symptoms are older patients or those with other medical complications, according to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  

See CDC recommendations for those at heightened risk.

MLKCH continues to work in close partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to monitor the situation closely and to take measures to ensure the health and safety of our community.

Public health officials encourage Los Angeles residents to wash their hands often, opt for verbal greetings in place of hugs and handshakes, and try to maintain a distance of six feet from strangers and/or people who are obviously ill.

As part of our response, MLKCH emergency department staff are asking a simple set of screening questions to patients as they enter our hospital.  If any patient presents with fever or cough, they will be masked.  If they present with symptoms and have recently traveled internationally, they will be placed in an isolation room.

If you are visiting a loved one and have any flu-like symptoms or may have been exposed to COVID-19, we ask that you consider postponing your visit to the hospital to help prevent spread of infection.

MLKCH has highly trained physicians, nurses and staff who are fully prepared to treat infectious diseases.

Residents of South LA should know that the same standard health practices that help to prevent the spread of the flu (influenza) can also be used to prevent COVID-19, including:

  • Regularly and thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water.

  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

  • Staying away from work, school and other places where people gather.

  • Coughing and sneezing into your sleeve.

  • Staying up to date on immunizations and flu shots.

It's up to ALL of us to fight COVID-19.  Stay at home, follow official guidance, and take care of each other, safely!

For information on LA County’s response, please visit the LA Department of Public Health’s information page.

For daily national updates on COVID-19, please visit the CDC site

See all MLKCH-related information on COVID-19 here.


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