By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Health officials in Santa Clara County, California received confirmation today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that an adult male resident of the county has tested positive for the novel (new) coronavirus.

Public domain image/National Atlas of the United States

This is the third case reported in California and the seventh case confirmed in the United States.

The case recently traveled to Wuhan, China and became ill upon returning home. He was seen at a local clinic and hospital, but was never was sick enough to require hospitalization. He is in stable condition and is self-isolating at home, and he did not leave home while he had symptoms except to seek medical care. Public Health Department staff are in regular contact and monitoring his symptoms and condition. Further information about the individual will not be released for reasons of medical privacy.

“We understand that this news may be concerning, but based on what we know today, the risk to residents of our community remains low,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer, Santa Clara County. “This news is not unexpected. Santa Clara County has the largest population in the Bay Area, and many of our residents travel for both personal and business reasons.”

In addition, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency for the entire United States today.

“While this virus poses a serious public health threat, the risk to the American public remains low at this time, and we are working to keep this risk low,” Secretary Azar said. “We are committed to protecting the health and safety of all Americans, and this public health emergency declaration is the latest in the series of steps the Trump Administration has taken to protect our country.”

The emergency declaration gives state, tribal, and local health departments more flexibility to request that HHS authorize them to temporarily reassign state, local, and tribal personnel to respond to 2019-nCoV if their salaries normally are funded in whole or in part by Public Health Service Act programs. These personnel could assist with public health information campaigns and other response activities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working closely with state health departments on disease surveillance, contact tracing, and providing interim guidance for clinicians on identifying and treating coronavirus infections. HHS is working with the Department of State to assist in bringing home Americans who had been living in affected areas of mainland China. HHS divisions also are collaborating with industry to identify and move forward with development of potential diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics to detect, prevent, and treat 2019-nCoV infections.