SAN ANTONIO (CBSDFW.COM) – A woman in San Antonio being tested for the coronavirus had negative results for two tests and was released from a local healthcare facility. When the results for a third test came back positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 she was returned to isolation. Now officials say the woman may have exposed up to a dozen people at a hotel before being quarantined a second time.
Officials with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have confirmed the woman had some contact with others while out of isolation, now the institute has joined forces with local health agencies to follow up to trace possible exposures and notify individuals of their potential risk.
According to CBS affiliate KENS-TV, the woman was brought to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland on February 7 from Wuhan, China. She had first tested positive around Feb. 12.
Rear Adm. Nancy Knight, who leads the CDC’s Division of Global Health Protection, said the woman’s hotel room was disinfected and closed for use and that the latest oral and nasal swab test on the woman may have detected pieces of dead virus, which would not be transmissible.
Local and state officials expressed concerns Sunday night over the patient’s initial release.
“The fact that the CDC allowed the public to be exposed to a patient with a positive COVID-19 reading is unacceptable,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “We will hold the CDC accountable to providing complete transparency for the public. This situation is exactly why we have been asking for federal officials to accept the guidance of our medical community.”
Officials with San Antonio Metro Health are investigating the woman’s activities during her the time outside of quarantine to determine who may have been exposed.
Last week Governor Greg Abbott said Texas will be ready to deal with anything from the status quo to a COVID-19 pandemic. He said the Department of State Health Services is also focusing on high-risk populations like young children and the elderly, Governor Abbott said.