KEY POINTS

  • Santa Clara County in California has two of the United States' 12 confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus.
  • It has extended for another 30 days the state of emergency due to the coronavirus
  • County officials say there have been no new cases of infection in Santa Clara

California has six of the 12 confirmed cases in the United States of the Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), and four of these six cases are in the adjoining counties of Santa Clara and San Benito.

The County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors first declared a local health emergency due to the coronavirus on February 3. On Monday, the board was asked to ratify and extend the declaration for another 30 days. The resolution was passed unanimously, said local TV station Kron 4.

Santa Clara County officials clarified the extension doesn't mean there's an increased risk to the public from the coronavirus. They said the extension helps ensure the county is prepared to respond effectively to the outbreak. The extension will also allow Santa Clara to receive mutual aid resources from the state of California and other jurisdictions.

As of Tuesday morning, Hong Kong time, the 2019-nCoV outbreak has led to the deaths of 1,013 persons (all but two in mainland China) and caused 42,759 confirmed cases since it was reported in December 2019.

The two confirmed cases in Santa Clara involve a resident that recently traveled to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the global coronavirus outbreak; and a woman from China visiting the county. Local officials said both have tested positive for the coronavirus in the county. They said both cases aren't related and there's no evidence of a person-to-person spread of the coronavirus in Santa Clara, which has more than two million residents.

Both patients have stayed home since returning to the U.S. except to seek medical attention. The first patient is a Santa Clara County resident who returned home from China on January 24. He entered the country through the San Jose International Airport.

County officials said this man claims he came into contact with “very few” people since returning to the U.S. from China. They said this man has been “self-isolating.”

The second infected person is a visitor to Santa Clara County. She arrived at San Francisco International Airport on January 23 to visit family in Santa Clara. The woman said she's stayed home since she arrived. She's being regularly monitored, and county officials say she's not sick enough to be hospitalized. Family members of the infected woman have also been quarantined.

Officials said the risk of the coronavirus infecting other Santa Clara residents remains low. They asked everyone to continue going about their regular activities and practice good health hygiene because it's also the height of flu season.

San Benito County to the south has two confirmed cases: a husband and wife that tested positive for the coronavirus. Officials said the husband recently traveled from Wuhan. The wife did not, making this a person-to-person transmission.

The death toll from the novel coronavirus has overtaken global fatalities in the 2002-03 SARS epidemic The death toll from the novel coronavirus has overtaken global fatalities in the 2002-03 SARS epidemic Photo: AFP / NOEL CELIS