First Case of Novel Coronavirus in Bay Area; U.S. Total Now 7

Officials Confirm First Case of Coronavirus in Santa Clara County

Despite the confirmed case, health officials say the risk to residents of our community remains low.

Santa Clara County health officials on Friday announced that a resident of the county has tested positive for the new coronavirus, marking the first confirmed case in the Bay Area and seventh nationwide.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that it was a man who tested positive for the illness, according to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.

“We understand that this news may be concerning, but based on what we know today, the risk to residents of our community remains low,” Dr. Sara Cody, director of Santa Clara County’s Public Health Department, said in a statement. “This news is not unexpected. Santa Clara County has the largest population in the Bay Area, and many of our residents travel for both personal and business reasons.”

The man traveled to Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak in China, and visited Shanghai before returning January 24 to California, where he became ill, Cody said.

The man was never sick enough to be hospitalized and “self-isolated” by staying home, she said.

The man only left home to seek outpatient care twice, and public health officials are now trying to reach anyone he may have come into contact with during those times.

“Fortunately, the list of contact since his return is short,” Cody said.

She said there was no risk of infection for the general public.

“Although we understand this case may raise concern, it doesn’t change the risk for the general public. The public at large is still at low risk,” she said.

The man had very few contacts at his home and those people have been identified and will isolate at home for 14 days, Cody said.

Two cases of the new pneumonia-like virus in Los Angeles County and one in Orange County have already been confirmed.