SANTA CLARA (KRON) — The Santa Clara Public Health Department has confirmed the third case of COVID-19 in the county.
Santa Clara County public health officials revealed that an older adult women had caught the virus with no recent travel history or had been in contact with a traveler or infected person.
Santa Clara County Public Health Department said the person is isolated at home.
The women was initially hospitalized for a respiratory illness related to chronic health conditions before being tested after a recommendation from her infectious disease physician.
The release reads in part below.
Due to medical privacy requirements and to protect her identity, further information about this case will not be released.
“This new case indicates that there is evidence of community transmission but the extent is still not clear,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer for Santa Clara County and Director of the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department. “I understand this may be concerning to hear, but this is what we have been preparing for. Now we need to start taking additional actions to slow down the spread of the disease.”
This case is important because it signals that now is the time to change course.
The public health measures taken so far – isolation, quarantine, contract tracing, and travel restrictions – have helped to slow the spread of the disease. The department will continue to implement these measures and continue to trace close contacts of our cases to protect the health of individuals and our community.
Since the disease is here, an important priority for the department will be to conduct community surveillance to determine the extent of local transmission. Since the County Public Health Laboratory has the ability to run the test, the department can quickly evaluate what is happening in our community.
For individuals, the recommendations are very simple, but very important:
- Keep your hands clean. It is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. And always need to cover your cough and stay home when you are sick.
- Today, start working on not touching your face because one way viruses spread is when you touch your own mouth, nose or eyes.
- Since we know the disease is here, we all need to stay away from people who are sick.
- Start thinking about family preparedness, how to take care of sick family while not getting infected. Think about a room to isolate a sick person.
There are practical measures that can help limit spread by reducing exposure in community settings:
- Schools: should plan for absenteeism and explore options for tele-learning and enhance surface cleaning.
- Businesses: whenever possible, can replace in-person meetings with video or telephone conferences and increase teleworking options and modify absenteeism policies and also enhance surface cleaning.
A day earlier, state health officials had pegged the number of people in California with the virus at 33 after investigators announced that a hospitalized woman is believed to be the first in the U.S. to be infected without traveling internationally or being in close contact with anyone who had it.
In Santa Clara, two others had previously been diagnosed. Kendall said a man who tested positive for the virus after returning from China and stayed at home was declared fully recovered on Feb. 20. A woman who had also traveled to China tested positive for the virus on Feb. 2. and remains under quarantine at home.
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