Health officials believe a quarter of the current coronavirus cases in the United States were transferred through US communities rather than travel and have vowed to test a million people by the end of next week.
An increase in testing for the coronavirus began shedding light on Monday on how the illness has spread in the United States with the death toll rising to six and newly confirmed cases pushing the tally to more than 100 across 12 states.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said he expects community-related cases to grow in the coming weeks.
'My concern is as the next week or two or three go by, we're going to see a lot more community-related cases,' he said. 'That's of great concern.'
Roughly a quarter of the cases in the US have likely been transmitted through local communities and are not travel-related, according to health officials.
Despite this, the first cases detected in both Georgia and New Hampshire on Monday have been linked to travel in Italy.
The two cases in Georgia involve people from the same Atlanta household, including a man who recently returned from Italy. The New Hampshire case involved a hospital worker who also recently returned from a trip to Italy.
The coronavirus death toll in the US rose to six on Monday and there are now more than 100 confirmed cases across 12 states. Five of the six deaths - all of which occurred in Washington state - have been linked to a Seattle senior living facility (pictured above)
Meanwhile five of the six deaths - all of which occurred in Washington state - have been linked to a Seattle senior living facility.
The total count includes people who tested positive after returning from travel to outbreak areas in other parts of the world, their close contacts and infections that appear to be from community spread - people who did not travel or have known contact with other infected people.
Dr Fauci, who is the top coronavirus expert in the country, said community spread made it almost impossible to predict how many cases there will be.
'The very fact that you have community spread… the source of these infections are not entirely known. People are cropping up with infections and you can't trace where they got it,' Dr Fauci said.
State and local authorities have been stepping up testing for the illness following a debacle with faulty