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Locals monitored for COVID-19 are asymptomatic

Posted at 4:24 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 02:32:52-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — We have some new information about the two local residents who are being monitored by the Health Department for COVID-19 coronavirus symptoms.

Dr. Kim Onufrak, the Corpus Christi Nueces County Public Health District clinical director tells us they do not have symptoms and there are no positive cases in Corpus Christi.

They are being monitored because of recent travel to China.

"We were notified that they live in Corpus Christi and we've reached out to them," Dr. Onufrak said. "And we monitor them over a 14-day period."

Dr. Onufrak said the individuals did not come into contact with anyone who had COVID-19.

"It was to China, but it was not the main Hubei province," Dr. Onufrak said. "If they did (travel there) then that would have elevated the concern higher."

The health department asked them to stay at home, isolate themselves, and to not go out into the public.

"And what we do is we will call, or they will call us, once a day," Dr. Onufrak said. "We ask them to take their temperature twice a day, at least six hours apart, and then to report any symptoms. Because if they do have symptoms, we want to catch that sooner rather than later."

Dr. Onufrak said the health district is working hard to keep up-to-date with the state and CDC guidelines.

"It's a dynamic situation," she said. "We are on daily phone calls. We are working on it everyday."

Over the last several days, the only change that has been made to the CDC's coronavirus guidelines is for what it calls "persons under investigation."

"Before it was if you traveled from Hubei," she said. "Then it expanded to 'if you just traveled from China and you had symptoms.' "

But now, if someone travels to any of the affected areas and has symptoms, they are tested for COVID-19.

"So if you travel from an affected area and you have symptoms -- meaning fever, cough, shortness of breath -- then that would be 'persons under investigation' or a high suspicion to investigate you and to test you with the CDC for the COVID-19," Dr. Onufrak said.

In Texas, San Antonio has confirmed cases under federal quarantine, and a case was reported in Fort Bend County, near Houston, on Wednesday night.

"In Texas, and in Corpus Christi, the risk is low," Dr. Onufrak said.