The first known case of coronavirus possibly the result of “community spread” in the United States was diagnosed in California, but despite doctors’ requests the patient was not tested for days. The New York Times reports the CDC refused to test because the patient did not meet CDC’s “narrow testing criteria.”
“Upon admission, our team asked public health officials if this case could be Covid-19,” a letter sent by doctors at the University of California, Davis Medical Center said. The doctors requested testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Since the patient did not fit the existing C.D.C. criteria for Covid-19, a test was not immediately administered. U.C. Davis Health does not control the testing process.”
The CDC announced the first suspected case of “community spread” coronavirus in the U.S. Wednesday, just around the time President Donald Trump was delivering a press conference during which he minimized the threat of coronavirus.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 in California in a person who reportedly did not have relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient with COVID-19,” the CDC reported.
“At this time, the patient’s exposure is unknown,” the CDC added. “It’s possible this could be an instance of community spread of COVID-19, which would be the first time this has happened in the United States. Community spread means spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown. It’s also possible, however, that the patient may have been exposed to a returned traveler who was infected.”
The CDC’s website currently states it has tested 445 people for coronavirus. As of Wednesday there were 60 confirmed cases in the U.S.