San Antonio mayor announces public health emergency after 21 possibly exposed to coronavirus

Coronavirus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Governor Greg Abbott and San Antonio leaders responded to the CDC after a patient was released in San Antonio who tested positive for the coronavirus.

In a press conference where he was being awarded his eighth consecutive Governor’s Cup, Abbott was asked by reporters on the state’s response to the coronavirus in San Antonio.

“What happened in San Antonio and what the CDC did was completely unacceptable,” said Abbott. “I think they understand the magnitude of the error they made. I want you to know that [sic] my office has been full engaged in ensuring the CDC immediately implements course correction.”

Abbott read from a letter, penned by Dr. H on the minimum course corrections expected:

  • Other patients scheduled to be released from quarantine at Lackland Air Force base will be held until the CDC can guarantee they have no trace of the coronavirus in their system.
  • Demand the CDC perform three tests done 48 hours apart on the patients at the Texas Center for Infectious Disease before they are released.

The mayor of San Antonio, Ron Nirenberg, and other local leaders reacted to the CDC’s error.

On Monday afternoon, Nirenberg announced a public health emergency.

San Antonio officials are recommending a deep clean of the North Star Mall after the released patient went there before she was put back in quarantine.

On Monday afternoon, North Star Mall announced it was closing until further notice out of an “abundance of caution” and that the closure would allow for further deep cleaning of the center.

Dr. Anita Kurian, Assistant Director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, said officials believe 21 people were exposed to the woman, not including anyone at the mall.

Eighteen people potentially exposed to the virus at the hospital are considered medium to low-risk (two medium-risk and 16 low-risk). Three more people were potentially exposed at a hotel, and they are considered low-risk.

While the CDC is encouraging everyone to wash their hands and prevent the spread of the virus as we would during this season, I would encourage the federal administration to not wash its hands of the responsibility to protect the public,” said mayor Nirenberg.

Nirenberg is recommending that the patients scheduled to be released Monday from the 14-day quarantine be re-tested and kept in quarantine until the CDC can confirm they are not carrying the coronavirus.

“The Judge (Nelson Wolff) and I have been in conversation with the Governor and our partners at the state level and I believe we all share concern that today’s scheduled release of the cohort from the Diamond Princess cruise ship is handled appropriately,” said Nirenberg.

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