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First COVID-19 patient confirmed outside of San Antonio

Posted at 8:43 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 23:07:37-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Texas has been reported outside of San Antonio.

“Having a COVID-19 case in Texas is a significant development in this outbreak, but it doesn’t change the fact that the immediate risk to most Texans is low,” said Texas Department of State Health Services commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt.

The patient is currently quarantined in a hospital in Fort Bend County, where they are a resident.

The test confirming the virus was performed in a lab in Houston and has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Hellerstedt will attend a news conference Thursday to update the public on procedures in place for COVID-19 testing.

“Over the past month, the state of Texas has been preparing for this moment, and we are confident in the steps we have taken to safeguard our communities against the coronavirus,” said Abbott.

Texas currently has 12 confirmed cases; nine from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship, one from Wuhan, China, and a patient that was released from a San Antonio hospital last week, only to be re-admitted after testing positive.

Hellerstedt advises that basic hygiene practices are key to staying healthy.

“This travel-related case reinforces the fact that we should all be taking basic hygiene steps that are extremely effective in limiting limit the spread of COVID-19 and all respiratory illnesses,” he said.

The CDC has issued tips on how to avoid spreading the virus.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hand
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.