Watch CBS News

3 People In Monterey County Tested For Wuhan Coronavirus

MONTEREY COUNTY (CBS SF/CNN) -- The Monterey County Health Department confirmed on Wednesday that three people in the county have been tested for the Wuhan coronavirus.

After initially telling KPIX that five people were being tested for the coronavirus, a Monterey County Health Department official corrected herself and said that while five people were assessed, only three of the five met the criteria for being tested.

The samples from all three individuals are being tested by the CDC, the Monterey County Health Department told KPIX.

So far, one of the people have tested negative, but the Health Department is still waiting on results from the CDC for the other two subjects.

The Wuhan coronavirus has spread throughout the world since the first cases were detected in central China in December. At least 132 people have died and more than 6,000 are fighting symptoms including fever and breathing difficulties.

China's National Health Commission has confirmed the virus can be transmitted from person to person through "droplet transmission" -- where a virus is passed on due to an infected person sneezing or coughing -- as well as by direct contact.

There are more than 90 confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus -- but no deaths so far -- in 19 places outside mainland China.

The United States has confirmed five cases of the virus, including one in Washington state, two in Southern California, one in Arizona, and one in Illinois.

The U.S. has raised its travel advisory level and cautioned travelers to reconsider visiting China. It has also ordered the evacuation of all non-emergency personnel and their families from Hubei province.

U.S. health officials will not institute a blanket quarantine for about 200 Americans who landed at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, California Wednesday after being evacuated from Wuhan.

Several passengers said they would stay at the base voluntarily, said Dr. Chris Braden, deputy director for the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"They wanted to know their own status. They wanted to know the status of their children. They wanted to protect their family, They wanted to protect others," he said.

The plan is to hold the passengers for three days, monitoring them for fever and other symptoms at least twice daily, Braden said.

Then if health officials determine they don't pose a danger, they can go home but will need to be monitored by local officials for the 14-day incubation period, he said. The patients staying at March Air Reserve Base near Riverside, California, might also choose to remain there for the 14 days.

Should anyone demand to go home before they're cleared, an individual quarantine is an option, Braden said.

"If anyone demands to leave right now, that is where all of the partners ... would come together and talk about what needs to be done," said Dr. Nancy Knight, the CDC's director of the division of global health protection, noting that US marshals are on hand to ensure everyone's safety.

© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. CNN contributed to this report.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.