A Northern California woman who is the nation’s first coronavirus case of unknown origin was hospitalized for days before she was tested for the novel virus, according to the hospital where she initially sought treatment before being transferred to UC Davis Medical Center.
The woman was first treated at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital, which is under the NorthBay Healthcare Group. In a statement provided to Fox News, Aimee Brewer, the president of NorthBay Healthcare Group, said the patient “at no time fit the existing CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] criteria for COVID-19, and therefore a test was not immediately administered.”
In a press conference on Thursday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom also remarked on the case, saying the state was tracking potential contacts of the patient. Officials also said that there was no evidence of a link between the patient and evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship who were taken to Travis Air Force Base in Solano County.
Overall, California is currently monitoring 8,400 people for suspected coronavirus, he said.
“Everybody in this country is rightfully anxious about this moment but I think they should know we are meeting this moment with the kind of urgency that is necessary and I don’t want to overextend the anxiety that people naturally face,” Newsom added.
The woman was transferred after her condition worsened over a three-day stay, ultimately “prompting our physicians to seek transfer to UC Davis where a higher level of monitoring and care could be delivered. The patient was transported via ambulance,” said Brewer in the statement.
Hospital officials then “launched a meticulous tracing of anyone in our Vacaville hospital who may have had any contact with that patient,” she continued. “From [the] patient’s arrival in the emergency department, until the transfer to UC Davis Medical Center, we promptly identified these employees. Those that met the moderate or high-risk categories were asked to stay home and monitor themselves for any sign of COVID-19. Our approach is the same as we regularly manage other diseases that require airborne precautions and monitoring.”
Brewer assured that both NorthBay Medical Center and NorthBay VacaValley Hospital “are operating under normal operations under normal operations and are meeting the needs of our patients.”
“We continue to work very closely with county and state public health officials, UC Davis, as well as the CDC, and thank them for their coordination and assistance,” added Brewer. “We are very proud of our health care team who provided excellent care to this patient while in our hospital and proud of all who responded in the last two days to manage possible employee exposures.”
The first case of community transmission of the virus in the U.S. comes after federal health officials this week warned that community spread of the novel coronavirus is seemingly inevitable, with one CDC official saying it’s no longer “a question of if, but when, and how many people in this country will have severe illness.”
To date, there have been 60 cases of the virus, which includes people who've been repatriated to the U.S. Worldwide, some 83,000 people have been sickened, while more than 2,800 have died, according to Thursday estimates.
Fox News' Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.