Updated 12:37 p.m.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he is confident California can respond to the spread of COVID-19, including the first possible case of community transmission in the U.S., which is being treated at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.
"We’re meeting this moment with the kind of urgency that is necessary," Newsom said at a press conference in Sacramento Thursday. "People should go about their day to day lives with some common sense. I don't want to instill any sense of new anxiety."
Newsom and state health officials said the state wants to expand testing for the disease, including for people showing possible symptoms and not just those who have travelled outside the country. Officials noted the state has 200 test kits, but Newsom said more are on the way from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"We need to substantially increase our access to testing, and we need to do that today," Newsom said.
The governor's office streamed the briefing live on their Twitter account.
Gov. Newsom did not declare a statewide emergency. He said the primary reason for doing so would be to draw more federal funds, but that money isn’t the main concern right now. San Francisco declared a state of emergency around the disease Tuesday, and Orange County did the same Wednesday.
Officials said the state is monitoring 8,400 people throughout the state to see how their symptoms are progressing. Still, they said they are confident in their contact tracing process, which enables health officials to locate and communicate with people who have interacted with an infected patient.
California has 33 confirmed tests for COVID-19, with 28 still quarantined in the state and five others who have relocated out of state. Of those cases, 24 are related to people repatriated from overseas. Sacramento County reported its first case last week.
According to the California Department of Public Health, the UC Davis patient announced Wednesday "had no known exposure to the virus through travel or close contact with a known infected individual."
CPDH Director Dr. Sonia Angell said Thursday there is no evidence the new case is connected to the group of people brought into Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, though the patient is a Solano County resident. She added that the state is actively in communication with anyone who may have come into contact with this patient, but stressed that risk for the general Solano County population and other California residents is still low.
On Tuesday, officials with the CDC told Americans to prepare for COVID-19 to continue to spread. And on Wednesday, President Trump called a press conference to announce Vice President Mike Pence would lead the nation's response.
NPR reports there are more than 81,191 cases related to the novel coronavirus globally, according to a dashboard created by the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering.
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