SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday the United States' 15th case of the novel coronavirus was detected in Northern California.
State health officials said the patient is a resident of Solano County.
UC Davis Medical Center confirmed an internal memo informing staff that the patient is being treated at their Sacramento facility. It says they have been at the medical center since Feb. 19 after being transferred from another hospital in the region.
"Since the patient did not fit the existing CDC criteria for COVID-19, a test was not immediately administered. ...
" ... On Sunday, the CDC ordered COVID-19 testing of the patient and the patient was put on airborne precautions and strict contact precautions, because of our concerns about the patient’s condition. Today the CDC confirmed the patient’s test was positive."UC Davis Medical Center Internal Memo
The internal memo also confirmed this was not the first COVID-19 patient to be treated at the Sacramento medical center.
A small group of UC Davis employees has since been asked "to stay home and monitor their temperature" per standard CDC protocol.
The California Department of Public Health says in this particular case, the patient had no known exposure to the virus through travel or direct contact with an exposed person.
While this is the first reported case of its kind in the state, officials say California has prepared and is working to trace the point of contact.
The CDPH said the risk to the general public remains low, despite the possibility that this case is the first instance of community transmission.
"California has a strong health care system and public health infrastructure. California has prepared for the potential spread of diseases, such as H1N1, in the past and is prepared and actively responding to the potential community spread of COVID-19. Contact tracing in this case has already begun," the CDPH release said.
Congressman John Garamendi, who represents Solano County, tweeted about the new case, saying, "We all have the responsibility to protect ourselves and others by washing our hands and carrying out procedures to avoid infecting ourselves and others."
A total of 60 cases have been confirmed in the U.S., with the higher count including citizens who traveled back from outbreak areas in Asia. Three were evacuated from the central China city of Wuhan and 42 Americans were evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan. Some evacuees from China and Japan were quarantined at Travis Air Force Base, located in Solano County.
Experts like Dr. Dean Blumberg from UC Davis Children's Hospital say we may see more "community-spread cases” in the upcoming days and weeks.
“I really think that is the tip of the iceberg and we are really missing a lot of cases because we are not testing milder or asymptomatic patients,” Blumberg told FOX40.
Dr. Blumberg said it is possible the virus may die down by summer.
"We know that coronaviruses are more commonly transmitted in the winter,” he said. “And so sometime in the spring, sometime in April or May, this may die down for the summer and then we'll see what happens next winter."