The Department of Health director said more than 80% of the presumptive positive cases for Covid 19 are travel-related, but on Thursday they announced a few cases that could be from community transmission.
As the state and private labs continue to test people for Covid 19, Dr. Bruce Anderson with the DOH said at least three of the presumptive positive tests for coronavirus show signs of community spread.
Anderson said, “They haven’t been exposed to any of the areas we know the virus is circulating or been in contact with a confirmed case that we know of, we expected this to happen as we see the situation evolved.”
Dr. Anderson said there are still no signs of a wide-community spread of the virus, but there are cases where health officials do not know the origin of transmission.
The DOH started a sentinel surveillance testing, where about 200 random specimen samples are collected weekly from patients who report flu-like symptoms to their doctors.
Anderson said, so far, all of those surveillance tests have come back negative for Covid 19.
“We are not seeing widespread community transmission,” Anderson said. “But this is the time that social distancing is going to make the difference, this is where you should take your isolation and distance very, very seriously.”
Doctor Julius Pham with Queen’s Medical Center agrees social distancing is the best tool we currently have to curve the spread within the state.
Dr. Pham said, “Take seriously our isolation and quarantine and if everybody did that, then we could halt the progression of spread of the virus.”
The DOH expects to see positive cases where travel history nor contact with someone who is positive are factors, but they continue to recommend staying at home whenever possible.