As more Californians test positive for the novel coronavirus, state health officials and Gov. Gavin Newsom are trying to control the outbreak.
The U. S. response to the problem got off to a rocky start. Faulty tests and a shortage of test kits kept many people from being diagnosed. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) tested only recent international travelers and people who had knowingly been in contact with someone who was infected. Consequently, some who may have contracted the virus went untested.
The national delays trickled down to the states. California reported a shortage of test kits and face masks for health care workers. Now, weeks after the first person in the U.S. was diagnosed, more Californians are being tested. Experts say Californians should plan for more people to be infected or diagnosed with the disease caused by the virus, COVID-19.
“We’re not testing enough people to really know how prevalent the disease is or the infection is,” said John Swartzberg, professor emeritus at the University of California’s School of Public Health. “I think it’s reasonable to assume that there must be an awful lot of people who are walking around infected and don’t know it.”
Watch this video to learn more about California’s response to the novel coronavirus.
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The author wrote this for CalMatters, a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s Capitol works and why it matters.