California assessing 8,400 citizens for coronavirus after break – shortage of testing kits

The precaution comes as a woman from the north of the state tested positive for the virus, despite having no history of travel to China, or contact with people known to be infected. This makes the woman the first American case of unknown origin, a sign potentially of community transmission. California Governor Gavin Newsom announced yesterday that 33 people in the state have tested positive for coronavirus.

Mr Newsom remarked: “We knew this was inevitable.”

The Governor also told the press conference that although the risk of contracting the virus was low, the state only currently has 200 testing kits.

He added: “That is simply inadequate to do justice to the kind of testing we need.

“We are not overreacting but nor are we underrating to the understandable anxiety.”

The first case with an unknown source has drawn particular attention in the United States.

This is because the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initially declined to do a test.

As the case did not match the centre’s criteria of having returned from an affected country, or having come into contact with someone known to have the virus, it was at first dismissed.

Mr Newsom said the state’s priority now lies in ensuring the expansion of the ability to do tests.

He has spoken to the CDC, who he says have assured him many more test kits will soon be available.

And Dr Sonia Angell, director of California Department of Public Health has made attempts to reassure the public.

She said: “We currently have people in the field working in the community from the local, from the state and also from the CDC.

“They’re contacting any individuals who might have been exposed, and they’re isolating them.”

It was also revealed that 5 of the 33 people who tested positive for the virus have now moved out of the state.

Those being monitored for the virus in California are spread across 49 local state jurisdictions.

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield has announced the testing criteria for the organisation has since been changed in the wake of the new development.

He told CNN: “As soon as that case was recognised, we met and we revised our case definition for persons under investigation.

“That has been posted to the CDC website along with a new health advisory that the recommendation should be when a clinician or individual suspects coronavirus, then we should be able to get a test for coronavirus.”

The United States has 60 confirmed cases of covid-19, as said by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

One patient has contracted the illness through unknown means.

42 of these cases are former passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, quarantined for a number of weeks in Yokohama, Japan.

Three are Americans recently repatriated from Wuhan – the virus’ epicentre.

Most of the other patients had either recently returned from China or are a spouse of someone who visited the country.

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