Second US coronavirus case of unknown origin in Santa Clara County

Health officials in Santa Clara County confirmed the second coronavirus case of unknown origin on Friday. 

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department said the woman had no travel history or contact with an infected person, similar to the Solano County resident who was recently diagnosed as the first possible case of community transmission. 

Officials said the patient in Santa Clara County is an older woman with chronic health conditions who was initially hospitalized for respiratory illness, authorities said. 

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Her doctor contacted the public health department and requested testing for COVID-19. The county's laboratory received specimens on Thursday and performed testing, which later came back positive for the coronavirus. 

"This new case indicates that there is evidence of community transmission but the extent is still not clear,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer for Santa Clara County and Director of the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department. “I understand this may be concerning to hear, but this is what we have been preparing for. Now we need to start taking additional actions to slow down the spread of the disease.”

This latest patient is the third COVID-19 case in Santa Clara County, but different from the other two cases previously diagnosed since the patient has no travel history or known exposure to the virus. 


Santa Clara County's first COVID-19 case was discovered on Jan. 24 after a man who had recently flown into San Jose airport from Wuhan, China, tested positive for the virus. 

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He was never sick enough to require treatment at a hospital, so he remained in isolation at home. On Feb. 20, health officials said that he had fully recovered from the coronavirus and had been released from isolation. 

The second case in Santa Clara County was confirmed on Feb. 2.

Authorities said the patient in that case was a woman who had arrived in the U.S. on Jan. 23 to visit family.

Health officials said the patients in the first two cases that were diagnosed in Santa Clara County, had recently traveled to China, however, they are not related.