A woman in California who tested positive for COVID-19 had not traveled to an affected country or likely been in contact with another confirmed case, marking the first time that the novel coronavirus has spread in the U.S. without a known source of infection.
This is an indicator that the outbreak could now spread much more quickly in the U.S. The latest case, who is in Northern California, was identified by “astute clinicians,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Wednesday night, about an hour after President Donald Trump held a news conference aiming to ease American worries about the outbreak.
n the U.S., which has had a fairly flat number of cases compared with countries like Iran and Italy, criticism is mounting about the Trump administration’s response to the outbreak, with critics taking aim at the CDC’s testing procedures, its messaging, and plans for preparedness.
“The administration did some very good things, but I think they’re sending a lot of mixed messages and they should stop,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a news conference on Wednesday. “They should just get [on] one page. It should be, this is going to be with us for a long time until further notice. We all have to work together. Localities have to be empowered.”
The UC Davis Medical Center officials treating the patient said it took five days for the CDC to agree to conduct a test.
“It’s possible this could be an instance of community spread of COVID-19,” the CDC said. “It’s also possible, however, that the patient may have been exposed to a returned traveler who was infected.”