8,400 possible coronavirus cases under review in Calif., Gov. Newsom says

Coronavirus
Data pix.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Gov. Gavin Newsom held a news conference Thursday morning at the California Department of Public Health's Medical Health and Coordination Center in Sacramento to discuss the state's response to the coronavirus.

During the news conference, Newsom said the state was preparing for increased demands to its health care system in the event that the coronavirus begins to spread at a more rapid rate throughout the U.S.

State health officials are currently monitoring 8,400 possible coronavirus cases, Newsom said. Of the 33 cases confirmed so far in California, 28 are still under review.

The news conference came just one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the first suspected community-spread coronavirus case in Solano County.

The patient has not been publicly identified, but health officials said she does not have a travel history that would suggest exposure to the virus. Officials said they do not believe she had contact with a coronavirus patient but began investigating Wednesday to determine if she had somehow been exposed.

Though several people traveling to the U.S. from the epicenter of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China, were placed in federal quarantine at nearby Travis Air Force Base, health officials said during Thursday's news conference there was no evidence to suggest any of those quarantined individuals were connected to the suspected community-spread coronavirus case identified Wednesday.

Despite the heightened awareness surrounding the coronavirus, health officials emphasized that risk to the public remains low.

Officials advised California residents to take preventative measures -- such as washing hands with soap and water regularly, keeping unwashed hands away from the eyes, nose and mouth, and staying home from work or school when battling respiratory symptoms -- to prevent the spread of this and other viral infections.

The most common coronavirus symptoms are respiratory, with the primary mode of spread coming in the form of coughing and sneezing. Health officials said approximately 85% of patients who are diagnosed with the coronavirus will experience mild symptoms.

“We will meet this moment. We are well resourced as a state,” Newsom said.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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