Nine cases of COVID-19 in San Mateo County

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Natalie Doud

Local doctors' offices encourage patients with any cold-like symptoms to wear masks.

San Mateo County has nine cases of COVID-19. There were only two last week.

As of March 9, San Mateo County has four confirmed cases of COVID-19 and five presumptive positives, according to the San Mateo County Health Department

A “presumptive positive” case means there is a substance present that is likely to be what the test is looking for, whereas a “confirmed positive” case means the substance being tested for is definitely present, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. For COVID-19, presumptive testing occurs first, and once a presumptive positive occurs, a sample is sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmatory testing.

The five presumptive positives await this confirmatory testing.

Anita Beroza
As of March 10, there are a total of 144 cases of COVID-19 in California, according to John Hopkins CSSE. Note: this excludes cases from Grand Princess Cruise ship, which is currently docked in Oakland, according to USA Today.

With the nine total cases, Dr. Scott Morrow, the San Mateo County Health Officer, believes that a large amount of community transmission has occurred.

“I now have evidence of widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in San Mateo County,” Morrow said in his March 10 statement. “The only way to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the light of having community transmission is to have everything in our society grind to a halt for an extended period of time.”

Even though it may seem COVID-19’s county-wide spread is inevitable unless day-to-day activities stop, Morrow does not believe this would benefit the county.

“At this moment, given what I know, I believe grinding everything to a halt would cause us more harm than good,” Morrow said.