Fresno · Highlight · Madera

Cruise travel drives first coronavirus cases in Madera, Fresno counties

Health Department officials with Madera and Fresno County reported their first cases of novel coronavirus mere hours apart on Saturday with a common thread between them.

State public health officials alerted Madera County’s Public Health department Thursday of a husband and wife that returned home from a Princess Cruise who had undertaken self-quarantine.

One of the spouses developed symptoms and were eventually taken to Madera Community Hospital for testing and treatment.

During the individual’s treatment, they did not enter public areas of the hospital.

Hours later, Fresno County public health officials announced the county’s first case of coronavirus.

Akin to the Madera case, the Fresno case involved two travelers returning from the Grand Princess Cruise on Friday, March 6. The cruise sailed from San Francisco to Mexico to Hawaii, then returned to the Bay Area.

The Fresno County man who tested positive for coronavirus was described by the Dr. Rais Vohra, the County’s interim public health officer, as over the age of 65.

Despite confirming the county’s first case of the pandemic disease, health officials in Fresno have not recommended the closure of schools or public buildings.

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at