This is a breaking story in the New York Times as of 5:15 p.m. Pacific today:
A person in California who was not exposed to anyone with the coronavirus and had not traveled to countries in which the virus is circulating has tested positive for the new coronavirus, representing what may be the first case of community spread here in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.
“At this point, the patient’s exposure is unknown,” a C.D.C. statement said. “The case was detected through the U.S. public health system and picked up by astute clinicians.”
This story comes within an hour of Donald Trump’s blathering press conference wherein he minimized the outbreak of the coronavirus and basically said he expected it to disappear — especially with Mike Pence on board, spearheading the effort. Pence was responsible for an outbreak of HIV in Indiana due to his repressive policies, God help us all with him in charge of a pandemic that no one knows anything about.
As you undoubtedly heard, if you listened to Trump’s presser, Trump expects a little old flu shot just anytime now and the experts are talking about a vaccine in 18 months — and not calling the coronavirus the flu. Trump has no remote clue what he’s dealing with, but then you knew that.
UPDATE at 6:35 p.m. Pacific Time, KCRA says that a patient in Sacramento may be first community-spread case of coronavirus:
“At this time, the patient’s exposure is unknown,” CDC said. “It’s possible this could be an instance of community spread of COVID-19, which would be the first time this has happened in the United States.”
“This would be the first known instance of person-to-person transmission in the general public in the United States,” CDPH said in a statement. “Previously known instances of person-to-person transmission in the United States include one instance in Chicago, Illinois, and one in San Benito County, California. Both cases were after close, prolonged interaction with a family member who returned from Wuhan, China and had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by novel coronavirus. As of today, including this case, California has had 7 travel-related cases, one close contact case, and now one community transmission.”
Germany also confirmed it’s first case of community spread coronavirus on Wednesday.