Local health departments prepare for possible Coronavirus cases in the Bay Area

Bay Area public health officials say they are closely monitoring the coronavirus. They are reporting there are no confirmed cases locally so far. But the concern is still out there.

At Mineta San Jose International Airport, many passengers coming in from Beijing were wearing masks for protection like people wore during smokey wildfire conditions.

One passenger says there is a sense of caution in Beijing.

"At hotel they check body temperature. At restaurants they check temperature. It's pretty good," said passenger David Vhang.

The Alameda County Public Health Department has screened less than 10 people for the Coronavirus. But no one has tested positive, although some results have not come back yet.

"They are isolated at home. They are not infecting others," said county Public Health Officer Dr. Erica Pan.

Alameda County has activated its Incident Command Response in coordination with other Bay Area health departments.

"It is saying this is above and beyond our day to day and we need to coordinate more and pull in resources," said Pan.

How likely is it to spread to the Bay Area?

"We might see a case here a case there. If we have good ID processes in place we will be able to control the spread," says Dr. Jeffrey Silvers, who is head of infectious diseases for Sutter Health.

Contra Costa County Public Health reports testing one person who's results came back negative. San Francisco and Santa Clara report no confirmed cases.

Health officials say those with flu-like symptoms should call their doctor first, and not just show up to the waiting room.

"We continue to think it's a very low risk in the Bay Area. We want to make sure someone who has been to Wuhan who has a cough or fever or shortness of breath would be someone who should be seen by a doctor," said Pan.

"The odds of someone getting sick in China and showing up here is likely to have the flu rather than the Coronavirus. So what should we be doing. We should be getting vaccines," says Silvers.

The City of Fremont was forced to put out a statement Thursday dispelling rumors on social media that there are Coronavirus cases in Fremont.

The city says those rumors are untrue.

It is perhaps an example of misinformation spreading faster than the virus itself.