Confirmed: First Case of Novel Coronavirus in Orange County

Orange County’s Health Care Agency (HCA) has received confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this evening that a person in the county has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The patient is a traveler from Wuhan, China.

In consultation with the CDC and the California Department of Public Health, the HCA says it is following up directly with all individuals who have had close contact with the patient and are at risk of infection.

The patient, upon arriving from Wuhan, China, has been in contact with the HCA and was provided guidance in order to reduce exposure to the public while awaiting laboratory confirmation from the CDC. The individual has now been transported to a local hospital and is in isolation in good condition.

The HCA will be monitoring any close contacts and assure that proper evaluation and care is provided if they become ill.

In the United States, there is currently only one place where suspected cases can be tested for this new coronavirus strain. Samples of any suspected cases of infection need to be first forwarded for testing to the CDC.

The CDC’s guidance indicates that people who have casual contact with a patient (in the same grocery store or movie theater) are at minimal risk of developing infection.

There is no evidence that person-to-person transmission has occurred in Orange County. The current risk of local transmission remains low.


The first coronavirus case in the U.S. was reported Tuesday. A man in his 30s fell ill after returning to his home in Washington state after a trip to Wuhan.

Before the weekend, the presence of coronavirus was confirmed in Chicago, Illinois. In that case, the patient is a Chicago-resident woman in her 60s who traveled to Wuhan in December and returned on Jan. 13, days before Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport began screening travelers for the newly discovered virus. She is now receiving treatment at Hoffman Estates Hospital.

The overseas Chinese community in Chicago has cancelled their Lunar New Year events and Chinatown restaurants are bracing for fewer customers.

News of the case in Orange County was released late Saturday night. Dr. Nichole Quick, County Health Officer, will be available on Sunday, January 26th, for media interviews after 11 a.m.