US officials scramble to respond to spread of COVID-19

More positive cases of the virus continue to crop up across multiple states in the U.S.
6:27 | 03/05/20

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Transcript for US officials scramble to respond to spread of COVID-19
All over the world people are doing what they can to protect themselves from the corona virus and here in this country communities are on and it's a California governor just moments ago declared a state of emergency here. Here is what governor Newsom had to say. And as you know. Community spread. Just in the northern part of the state we've had a number of incidences. Throughout the state of California no longer north. Now in Southern California. We have accordingly. With this new. Icu patient that passed away. Ventured into this next phase. That is required me. Under the circumstances. Two. Advance a proclamation for. A state of emergency and the state of California. But the hardest hit community right now in the United States is outside of Seattle Washington where the spread of the virus inside a nursing home. Has turned deadly our Caylee hard time has been covering the first cluster inside the US and has this report. On the corona virus and out are another day with more confirmed cases have been worst in the closet. So not on a virus in new York state health. Officials warns scenes like this would happen Toby nineteen is now inside the US and spreading. The first large cluster in the suburbs outside Seattle. Kirkland Washington over fifty people sick with respiratory symptoms after coming into contact with this nursing home. After two pieces of rock virus was confirmed at this nursing home dozens more were being monitored we've just seen another person loaded up into this ambulance to be taken the hospital. Colleen Mallory is afraid for her 89 year old mother living at the home. If she gets it she's going to be government. Come. But if she has to sit in her room for days on him for yourself. She's gonna go downhill fast. Her mother was sharing a room with a woman who was recently removed from the facility week. It can't take them. And we were told that they would be spinning out and time Davis. Brooke Asians eat your. To cities in Washington. Here consuming entire communities. Repeated scenes of people further exposing themselves gathering in tight spaces not standing in long lines just to get supplies. Some countries in Asia and taking extraordinary measures to protect against potential cases of Coke nineteen Hazmat suits replacing normal floating its streets. Hospital. But firefighters taking less extreme measures from McCain wield the placing patients from the lights your sinner nursing facility in Washington. What can your firefighters told you about what their interactions have been like with these people who are infected. You you know big describe it is just another league home. There protection from face masks and then down over their clothes. This fire house has been turned into a makeshift quarantine unit for a quarter of the firefighters in the city of Kirkland Washington who've been exposed to the virus. There's no telling exactly how many people are infected with cold in nineteen in the US. The only certainty right now cases will continue to rise. Officials in Washington State believe it has been spreading undetected for weeks and the New York announced its first cases of the virus this week. The first confirmed case of brought up fires now in New York. What state and local health officials are going to come concerns from. One of the patients is under quarantine inside your New York City apartment thousand others asked to self quarantine derail the state. It's not difficult to imagine how fast this could spread. If you see a half million boxes and put two or 305 there will be many who test us. We've already seen what happened in Wuhan China a city more populated in the Big Apple where. Perhaps equally worrisome is that most doctors offices and hospitals in the US. You can test for the virus just this week the US reported eleven deaths. Ten in Washington and one in California. The federal government struggling with a unified message. Listen to the president talk about a cure them. The vaccine is coming along. Well and then speaking to the doctors we think this is something that we can develop fairly rapidly a vaccine. What this is what head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases had to say in a senate hearing we need to make sure it's safe. We make needs to make sure it works that entire process. Will take at least a year and a year and a half and still states are taking matters into their own hands. Colorado in New York announced their own testing before the CDC allowed more laps to test for the disease a race against time for health professionals as the virus continues to spread the outbreak of Kobe nineteen exposed flaws in the US health care system and it's on preparedness to deal with the virus from the onset. Hundreds of Americans were quarantined by the US government is they evacuated hot zones in Wuhan and that cruise ship and the diamond princess Jim and last month. But according to a whistle blower complaint those government health officials tasked with the health and safety of those evacuees from lacked proper training. And protective gear putting every when they came into contact with at risk. CN Antonio blocking those under quarantine at Laughlin air force base from entering the city. After they prematurely release someone who just hours later tested positive for code in nineteen. They were savings straight from the base. To the airport and there exposure was limited to we've been trying to do with the guidance from the medical community is also give them a service. That they are free the virus but if the CDC cannot act on that guidance. We're gonna make sure we do our part to protect the San Antonio community major airlines recruiting services to hot zones abroad. But the borders remain hoping for it's too early to determine if the precautions officials have taken it will prevent this from becoming a pandemic from throughout Asia officials have gone all aimed to disinfect quarantine and protect. Even though the rate of infection in the US for -- low and we haven't seen the same scenes play out American suburbs or cities yet room for every day for new infections arise from people keep getting sick. And officials here are going to need to step up to keep the public safe. And fast. Really hearty on ABC news Kirkland Washington. Our thanks to Keylon.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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