SANTA CLARA COUNTY (CBS SF) — Officials with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department on Friday received confirmation from the CDC that an adult male resident of the county has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The test is the first confirmed case of the new coronavirus that first emerged in the Chinese city and province of Wuhan two months ago.
Santa Clara County officials offered more details on the case during a Friday afternoon press conference. Santa Clara County Public Health Department Health Officer and Director Dr. Sara Cody said that the patient was diagnosed upon returning home from a trip to Wuhan, China, and had limited exposure to the public.
“Since his return home to the county, he has been self-isolating at home and did not leave home at all except to seek medical care,” said Dr. Cody.
The patient was seen at a local clinic and hospital, but was never sick enough to be hospitalized.
“We are currently reaching out to anyone he may have had contact with to assess whether they may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus,” said Cody. “Our preliminary investigation indicates that he came into contact with very few individuals after returning home.”
Cody also said that there was no evidence to suggested that the novel coronavirus was circulating in the Bay Area or Santa Clara County, despite the announcement of the first case.
County Health Department staff have been in regular contact with the patient and monitoring his symptoms and condition. Officials said further information about the individual would not be released for reasons of medical privacy.
Cody said that due to the size of Santa Clara County and the number of people who travel to China for business and personal reasons, officials were not surprised that the first case in Northern California and the Bay Area arose there.
“We have been preparing for this possibility for weeks knowing that we were likely to eventually confirm a case,” said Cody.
The other two previously confirmed cases in California are located in Los Angeles County and Orange County.
Earlier Friday, three of the largest U.S. airlines — United, Delta and American — have canceled flights between the United States and China because of coronavirus concerns.
This comes after the State Department recommended against travelling to China in the wake of the outbreak, raising its travel warning to the highest level.
The novel coronavirus has been declared a public health emergency in the United States, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a White House briefing on Friday.
Azar signed a public health emergency declaration in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
— Secretary Alex Azar (@SecAzar) January 31, 2020
After the declaration goes into effect at 5 p.m. EST on Sunday, U.S. citizens returning to the United States who have been in Hubei, China, province in the 14 days prior will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine, Azar said.
U.S. citizens who have been in the rest of mainland China in the 14 days prior will face a health screening at a select number of ports of entry, he said. Those citizens also face up to two weeks of monitored self-quarantine to ensure they pose no health risk.
Coronavirus is now a “global health emergency” according to the World Health Organization.
China has reported an additional 43 deaths, bringing the total there to 213. There are nearly 10,000 confirmed cases.
With the addition of the case in Santa Clara County, there are now seven confirmed cases in the U.S.