A pedestrian wears a surgical mask as she walks by the VacaValley Hospital on Feb. 27, 2020 in Vacaville, Calif. A Solano County resident now being treated for the coronavirus at UC Davis Medical Center was previously admitted to the Vacaville hospital but was not tested for the virus, officials said. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/TNS)

DAVIS – Authorities on Friday were dealing with a new coronavirus case in Santa Clara County, heightening concerns that the disease is spreading in the United States.

The new case comes as officials in Northern California are searching for people who might have come in contact with a Solano County woman who is believed to be the country’s first novel coronavirus patient who did not recently travel outside the U.S. or come in contact with someone who did.

Authorities said her case might indicate that the virus is already spreading within the local community, a significant leap, making it essential that they quickly find anyone who might have been exposed to her.

The woman was hospitalized more than a week ago but was not tested for several days because she did not fit screening criteria set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which include both symptoms of the virus and either a recent history of travel to China or close contact with another coronavirus patient.

In response, Solano County declared a local emergency Thursday because of the virus.

“We are taking this situation seriously and are taking steps necessary to protect the health and safety of Solano County residents,” Dr. Bela Matyas, the county’s health officer, said in a statement. “It is important to recognize that we have moved from containment to mitigation. We are investigating potential exposures and ensuring that proper evaluation and care are provided if they become sick.”

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