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SACRAMENTO February 28, 2020 – Today, local health officials in Santa Clara County announced an individual tested positive for COVID-19.
The individual had no known exposure to the virus through travel or close contact with a known infected individual, making it the second possible instance of COVID-19 community transmission in California. Earlier today the California Department of Public Health announced that CDC test kits used to detect COVID-19 had arrived in California.
The CDC committed to the state today to send more kits to California — enough to conduct more than 1,000 tests.
“This is a fluid situation but we have plans and protocols in place for public health events like this to protect the health and safety of Californians and the state’s visitors. We are actively working with the CDC, with local governments, health facilities, and health care providers across the state to respond as new cases are identified,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, Director of the California Department of Public Health and State Health Officer.
As in any public health emergency, the California Department of Public Health’s Medical and Health Coordination Center has been actively coordinating response efforts across the state and preparing for possible community transmission. California continues to prepare and respond in coordination with federal and local partners.
This could be the second known instance of person-to-person transmission in the general public in the United States. Yesterday, the California Department of Public Health announced a possible first case of person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 in California in the general public
Previously known instances of person-to-person transmission in the United States include one instance in Chicago, Illinois, and one in San Benito County, California. Both cases were after close, prolonged interaction with a family member who returned from Wuhan, China and had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by novel coronavirus. As of today, including this case, California has had seven travel-related cases, one close contact case, and now two possible community transmissions.
As with any virus, especially during the flu season, the Public Health Department reminds you there are a number of steps you can take to protect your health and those around you:
- Washing hands with soap and water.
- Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick are all ways to reduce the risk of infection with a number of different viruses.
- Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
The California Department of Public Health will not be providing additional information about this patient due to patient confidentiality.
Fairview Developmental Center
Also, today, the federal government informed the state that it has determined it does not need to use the Fairview Development Center site for the isolation of passengers from the Diamond Princess Cruise ship given the imminent end of the isolation for those passengers and the small number of persons who ended up testing positive for COVID-19.
The initial estimates the CDC had provided were that as many as 50% of the passengers would test positive within the isolation period but the actual results have been substantially lower, changing current needs for isolation. The temporary restraining order prevented Fairview from being available at a time when it was critically needed.
Having people who are not sick occupying available hospital beds placed a burden on the health care system and limits critical access for patients in a time of great need.