On Friday, California authorities identified a second case of coronavirus involving a patient who had not recently traveled abroad or who had had contact with an infected person or traveler.
The identification of the case in Santa Clara County suggests that the virus may have spread to the United States.
Dr. Sara Cody, health manager for Santa Clara County, said, “What we now know is that the virus is present at some level here.” She added: “What we still don’t know is to what extent.”
She said there was now a need for additional public health tools, in addition to measures to quarantine individuals, find contacts and restrict theft.
Santa Clara County is in the heart of Silicon Valley, where a large concentration of tech companies are headquartered, including Apple and Alphabet. It is also home to Stanford University, located in Palo Alto.
Later today, officials in the state of Oregon reported their first suspected case of coronavirus in a patient who was also suspected of having contracted the disease from the community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which aim to deploy more coronavirus testing capabilities across the country, had yet to confirm that the patient was in fact positive. According to local authorities, the patient had spent time in a local primary school which was temporarily closed.
Speaking to supporters at a rally in South Carolina on Friday evening, President Donald Trump said the coronavirus was the “new hoax” for Democrats, while highlighting the party’s immigration policies.
“Whether it is the virus we are talking about or the many other threats to public health, the democratic policy of opening borders is a direct threat to the health and well-being of all Americans,” said the President. .
Trump asked Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday to direct Washington’s response to the health crisis, while minimizing the risk to Americans as “very low.”
The CDC said it identified 62 cases of coronavirus in the United States, including three people who came from Wuhan, China, and 44 passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship from Japan.
On Wednesday, the CDC confirmed a seemingly new case of coronavirus in Solano County between San Francisco and Sacramento, saying it was “possible” that the virus had spread to the patient from an unknown source.
“It is possible that this could be an example of a community spread of COVID-19, which would be the first time this has happened in the United States,” the CDC said in a statement.
Some technology groups have already started to withdraw from domestic travel. Amazon asked employees Friday to postpone any nonessential travel to the U.S. or outside the U.S. and said it would withdraw from the Games Developer Conference scheduled for San Francisco next month, which organizers have since postponed. The YPO group, which is made up of general managers and has about 28,000 members, has also canceled its San Diego summit scheduled for next week.
London Breed, the mayor of San Francisco, called a state of emergency on Tuesday, seeking funds to prevent the spread of the virus if it reaches the city.
Santa Clara had previously identified two cases of coronavirus in people who traveled from mainland China. One patient recovered fully last week and the other patient was placed in segregation.
James Politi’s additional report in Washington