02 Mar Coronavirus Hits California: The Threat of an Epidemic Disrupts Life
By California Black Media Staff | Image via CDC
So far, 37 people in California have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and about 8,700 people across the state, who may have been exposed to the Coronavirus, are self-quarantined.
This weekend, doctors diagnosed three new cases of the virus in Santa Clara county, bringing the total number of people with infections in that part of the state to seven.
Alameda county declared a state of emergency after the first person was diagnosed there last week.
“The availability to test at California’s public health laboratories is a significant step forward in our ability to respond rapidly to this evolving situation,” said Sonia Angell, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). “We face the likelihood of community transmission here in California.”
Angell announced new testing labs in Los Angeles, Ventura, San Diego, Tulare, Santa Clara, Alameda, Orange and Contra Costa counties.
Residents in the Bay Area and Los Angeles are stocking up on food and supplies, preparing for the worst, as stores in those large metropolitan areas sell out of essentials like hand sanitizers.
Major airlines have cancelled flights to cities in affected countries in Asia and Europe, including China, Japan, Singapore, Korea and Italy. And a number of California tech companies, including Facebook and Microsoft, canceled plans to participate in a game developers conference in San Francisco scheduled for mid-March.
Last Thursday, Gov. Newsom said there is no need to declare a state of emergency right now in California because of the Coronavirus.
But he did say he was working with the feds to expand testing in California and ship more testing kits to the state.
“We’re meeting this moment,” Newsom said in a press conference. “We have been in constant contact with federal agencies. We have history and expertise in this space. We are not overreacting, but nor are we underreacting to the understandable anxiety that many people have as it relates to this novel virus.”
In the United States, there have been two confirmed deaths and a total of 88 cases.
Worldwide, more than 88,000 people have contracted the virus. The total global death toll has now passed 3,000.
Across California, Coronavirus cases have been reported in Solano, Alameda, Humboldt, San Benito, Los Angeles, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Orange and San Diego counties.