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Five new cases of novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Contra Costa County, a county Health Services spokesman said Sunday afternoon.
Four of the new cases are being treated at hospitals in Contra Costa, according to health officials, who did not provide specific hospitals to help maintain privacy. These four patients had no travel history outside the U.S. or known contact with anyone having tested positive for the virus.
The fifth patient has had close contact with another person who previously had tested positive for COVID-19, and is on home quarantine under the guidance of Contra Costa Health Services.
These five new cases bring the total of confirmed cases in Contra Costa County to nine as of Sunday morning. One patient who tested positive last week remains in a local hospital, a county health spokesman said, while three other previously identified patients who tested positive are also “isolating” at home.
“The coronavirus is here in our community,” said Dr. Ori Tzvieli, acting Contra Costa health officer. “As we ramp up our testing, we expect to identify more cases. But there is still a lot we can do to slow down the spread and protect our most vulnerable.”
Test kits arrive from the CDC
Contra Costa County has received 300 test kits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health officials said Friday.
While local public health officials are not recommending the closure of schools and busy public areas like restaurants and coffee shops, officials advised residents older than 50 and people with chronic medical conditions to avoid large crowds and events to reduce their risk of contracting the virus.
“We recognize that we’re asking people to take steps that are, to some, may be disruptive in their lives,” Health Services Department Director Anna Roth said. “We’re only asking the public to do steps that we believe will have a positive effect on reducing community risk from the coronavirus.”
* Eli Walsh contributed to this report.