February 29, 2020
Coronavirus Hits Illinois With 3rd Case Reported There, New 'Community Spread' Patient In California Also

On the same day that Donald Trump held a second press briefing in three days attempting to reassure Americans that the spread of the deadly coronavirus was under control in the United States, the state of Illinois announced that it had confirmed a third case of the disease in that state.

State health officials on Saturday revealed that a patient in Cook County — which includes Chicago, and is the second-most populous county in the U.S. — had tested positive for the virus and has been placed in isolation, according to a report by WLS TV News in Chicago. The diagnosis must still be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Officials gave no details about the identity of the patient, or how the person may have contracted the virus, which has now caused approximately 3,000 deaths worldwide, mostly concentrated in China where the virus is believed to have originated. But they said that they are currently seeking any other person who may have come in contact with the infected patient.

In January, a husband-and-wife couple in Illinois were diagnosed with the coronavirus ailment. In that case, the wife had recently traveled to Wuhan, China, to visit a relative. That Chinese province has been the epicenter of the worldwide outbreak of the newly-discovered respiratory virus.

Donald Trump gives a press conference.
Getty Images | Alex Wong
Donald Trump sought to reassure Americans on Saturday that the potential coronavirus epidemic was under control.

The couple were both treated at a hospital in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, and have since each made complete recoveries, according to authorities cited in the WLS News report.

The first death from coronavirus in the United States was also reported on Saturday in Washington state, while in California, a third patient was diagnosed as having contracted the virus through "community spread," according to a report by The Los Angeles Times.

"Community spread" refers to cases of the disease contracted by individuals with no known recent travel to China or other areas of the world hit by the coronavirus outbreak – or contact with individuals who have traveled to coronavirus-infected regions.

The new California case was described as "a household contact" of a woman in Santa Clara County, California — about 50 miles south of San Francisco — who was revealed on Friday to have contracted the virus, according to the Times report.

The new cases reported on Saturday raised the total number of U.S. coronavirus diagnoses to 70. But 47 of those cases are travelers who had either recently returned from Wuhan, China, or had been passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was hit with a coronavirus outbreak.