A worker wearing a face mask sprays disinfectant along a path in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. China’s death toll from a new viral disease that is causing global concern rose by 25 to at least 106 on Tuesday as the United States and other governments prepared to fly their citizens out of the locked-down city at center of the outbreak. (AP Photo/Arek Rataj)
A California woman who tested positive for coronavirus eight days after being hospitalized for flu symptoms is the first case of an individual in the United States for whom officials don’t know the source of infection. The patient was treated for three days at a small hospital in Vacaville before being transferred to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, where she was treated for five days before testing positive. From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Doctors who treated the Solano County woman after she was moved to Sacramento said they were concerned about delays in testing her for the coronavirus because she did not meet the CDC criteria for testing. They had asked her to be tested the day she arrived at UC Davis Medical Center — on Feb. 19 — but that the CDC only agreed to test on Feb. 23.
A UC Davis vice chancellor wrote in an internal email that the CDC did not initially agree to the testing because the woman did not meet its criteria, which include recent trips to China or contact with someone who has the disease.
Officials said they didn’t know if there were other cases in the state in which doctors requested a test for a patient and were refused, but that the latest case “is obviously giving the CDC a lot to consider.”
During a press conference Thursday morning Gov. Gavin Newsom said that there are 28 active cases of coronavirus in the state in addition to the newly-diagnosed woman. Twenty-seven people were either passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship or had recently traveled to China, and one woman contracted the disease from her husband, who was already sick.
Newsom also stated that California officials are monitoring 8,400 people for the disease and that the state’s inventory of 200 testing kits is “inadequate” to meet the need.
“It’s simply inadequate to do justice to the kind of testing that is required to address this issue head on,” Newsom said. “We have been assured of our capacity to significantly, exponentially increase the capacity to test.”
He noted that state officials have an ongoing positive working relationship with the Centers for Disease Control and that they’ve committed to providing more testing kits and may even open a testing site in California so tests can be processed there instead of having to be sent to Atlanta.