The declaration will help bolster the county’s response to the outbreak, with mitigation as the plan of attack.
At a Thursday night press conference, Solano County health officials said containment of the virus in the area is no longer an option.
"We know that the cat's out of the bag in terms of it having spread," said Solano County County Public Health Deputy Director Dr. Bela Matyas.
The woman who tested positive lives in Solano County, home to the Travis Air Force Base where dozens of people infected in China or on cruise ships have been treated.
California Department of Public Health officials said there was no evidence the woman had any connection to the base.
"If everybody on base were doing a horrible job or wandering our community, they never would have encountered this person," Dr. Matyas said. "So, there’s just no logical way to draw that conclusion."
Health officials also said the woman has not traveled to a foreign county nor had any known contact with a confirmed case.
The patient initially was hospitalized at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville.
Officials say at no time did the patient display COVID-19 symptoms, as described by the CDC, at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital, but was transferred to UC Davis where a higher level of monitoring and care could be provided.
It took four days before the CDC heeded a request to test the patient for COVID-19.
The Vacaville hospital is still open and operating normally but has identified employees who treated the woman and have asked some of them to stay home and monitor themselves for symptoms.
Gov. Gavin Newsom declined comment when asked by reporters to name the community in Solano County where the woman was from but urged people to take precautions while emphasizing that the risks to public health were low. He said there was no need to declare a public health emergency.
Steve Huddleston with NorthBay Healthcare says they have identified dozens of employees, thought less than 100, who had contact with the woman. Some of those employees come from other, neighboring counties.
He says those employees have been asked to stay home and monitor themselves. The length of time will be in keeping with CDC guidance.
Sacramento County Department of Health Services Director Dr. Peter Beilenson says "a few dozen people" who came in contact with the patient at UC Davis Medical Center have also been quarantined. He adds they are not at the hospital along with the patient.
"What we do is we quarantine people without symptoms and they are at home," Dr. Beilenson said. "Our public health staff go out or call every day for everybody who's under quarantine in the county. We make sure they have food."
Officials at Thursday's press conference also said the patient's family has been quarantined and her workplace has been contacted.
Health officials are recommending the public to take these precautions to stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like COVID-19:
– Wash hands with liquid soap and water and rub for at least 20 seconds;
– Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing;
– Stay home if you are sick; and
– Get a flu shot to protect yourself and others from flu, which has similar symptoms to COVID-19.