- Four people in the US are suspected to have the coronavirus as a result of “community spread” meaning they contracted the virus despite not travelling outside the US.
- A high school student in Washington State and a woman in Oregon are the latest “presumed positive” cases, according to CNN.
- There have been around 70 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US so far, most of which were among repatriated passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
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At least four of the 67 reported cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus are not linked to travel outside the United States after a woman in Oregan and a high school student in Washington state are presumed to have tested possible for the virus, health officials told CNN.
A person – described by CNN as an “older woman” – reportedly contracted the virus without having recently travelled overseas or knowingly coming in contact with any person who had contracted the coronavirus. The other California case is a woman from Solano County currently hospitalized at the UC Davis Medical Centre in Sacramento, the report said.
“This new case indicates that there is evidence of community transmission, but the extent is still not clear,” Sara Cody, director of the Santa Clara County public health department, said, according to CNN.
Health officials said the Santa Clara woman had not travelled to Solano County, raising more questions about how the woman contracted the virus, believed to have originated last year at a market in Wuhan, China, a city in the country’s Hubei province.
The Washington state case involves a boy at Jackson High School in Snohomish County. The school will be closed on Monday as it undergoes deep cleaning following the student’s diagnosis.
As Daily Mail reported, while the latest case marks only the fourth known instance of “community spread” in the US, it is the third instance within the past 24 hours.
Officials for the Centres for Disease Control said it hoped to have every state nationwide testing for the virus by the end of next week as the US ramps up its plan to combat the virus, CNN said, which has so far been primarily in China but has begun to spread across Asian and to parts of Europe.
As Business Insider previously reported, there the CDC has confirmed dozens of cases in states across the country in Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington, and Wisconsin.
“Community spread means spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown,” a CDC press release from Wednesday said.
In other words, a case can be described as a “community spread” when an infected person has had no history of travelling to China where the virus broke out, meaning the virus was likely contracted from another person in the individual’s same community.
A majority of Americans who have tested positive for the virus – 44 – were among those repatriated after facing a 14-day quarantine on the Diamond Princess after an outbreak occurred on the cruise ship.
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