COVID-19 Timeline

COVID-19 Disease Time-Line: Early Stages

  • November 16, 2019 - Doctors at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital of Colmar in eastern France said they found evidence that the earliest COVID-19 cases in France.
  • November 17, 2019 - According to government data seen by the South China Morning Post, a 55-year-old person from Hubei province, China could have been the first person to have contracted COVID-19 disease.
  • December 12, 2019 - A study reported the coronavirus epidemic could have started during December 2019. Furthermore, this study found that nCoV-2019 is 96% identical at the whole genome level to a bat coronavirus. A November 2017 study, which was co-funded by the US government, said 'Bats in a cave in Yunnan, China, were captured and sampled for coronaviruses used for lab experiments.' And, an April 2018 study 'highlighted the importance of identifying coronavirus diversity and distribution in bats to mitigate future outbreaks that could threaten livestock, public health, and economic growth.'
  • December 16, 2019 - In a retrospective analysis, The Lancet reported on January 24, 2020, the December admission of patients with respiratory disease to hospitals in China. About 59 patients with fever and dry cough were transferred to a designated hospital starting on December 31, 2019.
  • December 17, 2019 - A study by French scientists suggests a man was infected with COVID-19 as early as Dec. 27th. This is a case of a patient hospitalized in December 2019 in our intensive care, of our hospital in the north of Paris, for hemoptysis with no etiological diagnosis and for which RT-PCR was performed retrospectively on the stored respiratory sample which confirmed the diagnosis of COVID-19 infection.
  • December 29, 2019 - The 4 cases linked to the Wuhan Seafood Wholesale Market, were identified by local hospitals using a surveillance mechanism for “pneumonia of unknown etiology.'
  • December 30, 2019, - After receiving test results, multiple doctors in Wuhan shared the information via the Internet, including Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital, who posted a warning to alumni from his medical school class via a WeChat group.
  • December 31, 2019 - Chinese experts said they 'are investigating an outbreak of respiratory illness in the central city of Wuhan that some have likened to the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic. The city's health commission said in a statement that 27 people had fallen ill with a strain of viral pneumonia, 7 of whom were in serious condition. An epidemiological alert was released by the local health authority on Dec 31, 2019. Meanwhile, 59 suspected cases with fever and dry cough were transferred to a designated hospital starting from Dec 31, 2019. 
  • December 31, 2019 - Taiwan CDC implemented inspection measures for inbound flights from Wuhan, China in response to reports of an unidentified outbreak. The CDC said border control measures have been strengthened to include fever screening for arriving passengers and full-scale examinations for suspected cases.
  • January 2, 2020 - 41 admitted hospital patients had been identified as having a laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection. Published in The Lancet, this study concluded 'The 2019-nCoV infection caused clusters of severe respiratory illness similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and was associated with ICU admission and high mortality.'
  • January 7, 2020 - South Korea announced the first possible case of the coronavirus coming from China.
  • January 7, 2020 - Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton stated during a briefing on May 11, 2020, that 'new data shows COVID-19 was in Ohio as early as January 2020.' Acton said antibody testing revealed at least five COVID-19 disease cases, with the earliest of which dates back to January 7th. Previous data showed an onset of symptoms in Ohio was February.
  • January 8, 2020 - The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued CDCHAN-00424 saying 'it is closely monitoring a reported cluster of pneumonia of unknown etiology with possible epidemiologic links to a large wholesale fish and live animal market in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The patients had symptom onset dates from December 12 through December 29, 2019. Of the 59 patients, seven are critically ill.
  • January 9, 2020 - A preliminary investigation into viral pneumonia illnesses sickening dozens of people in and around China has identified the possible cause as a new type of coronavirus, state media.
  • January 10, 2020 - The gene sequencing data of the isolated 2019-nCoV, a virus from the same family as the SARS coronavirus, was posted on Virological.org by researchers from Fudan University, Shanghai. A further three sequences from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, and one from Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan were posted to the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) portal.
  • January 11, 2020 – A Travel Alert was issued regarding the pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, China by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • January 12, 2020 - The WHO stated China's government reported that there is no clear evidence that the virus passes easily from person to person. And, there were no cases with infection of this novel coronavirus reported elsewhere, other than Wuhan, China.
  • January 13, 2020 - The US CDC announced that the genome had been posted on the NIH genetic sequence database, GenBank.
  • January 19, 2020 – Wuhan Municipal Commission of Health in China reported that they have discovered 17 additional cases of pneumonia related to a novel Coronavirus strain, now called 2019-nCoV.
  • January 19, 2020 - A 35-year-old man presented to an urgent care clinic in Snohomish County, Washington, reported the first case of 2019-nCoV infection confirmed in the USA and describe the patient’s initial mild symptoms at presentation with progression to pneumonia on day 9 of illness.
  • January 20, 2020 - After two medical staff were infected in Guangdong, China confirmed that the virus was human-to-human transmissible.
  • January 21, 2020 - Dr. Anthony Fauci said during an interview '“This is not a major threat for the people in the United States, and this is not something the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about."
  • January 23, 2020 - The US Department of State notified U.S. citizens via a Level 4 Travel Advisory that ‘travelers should be aware that the Chinese government could prevent them from entering or exiting parts of Hubei province.’
  • January 23, 2020 - The WHO Director-General convened the Emergency Committee to consider the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China, with cases reported in the Republic of Korea, Japan, Thailand, and Singapore.
  • January 29, 2020 - The US Department of State chartered a flight leaving Wuhan (China) Tianhe International Airport on January 28, 2020, bringing US citizens to the USA.
  • January 30, 2020 - The WHO declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
  • January 31, 2020 - The US CDC announced that it has issued federal quarantine orders to all 195 US citizens who repatriated to the USA on January 29, 2020.
  • January 31, 2020 - US President Trump signed a proclamation barring entry to the USA of most foreign nationals who traveled to China within the past 14 days.