San Antonio mayor issues declaration of public health emergency over coronavirus
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The mayor of San Antonio has issued a declaration of public health emergency over the coronavirus.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg issued the declaration Monday, March 2 after a person who later tested positive for COVID-19 was mistakenly released on February 29.
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The patient was part of the group that came back from Wuhan, China over two weeks ago via a State Department chartered flight. According to the CDC, the patient was asymptomatic and had met all of the CDC's criteria for release. Two tests, taken 24 hours apart, had tested negative for the virus and the CDC cleared the patient. However, a later test sample came back and was determined to be "weakly" positive for COVID-19.
According to the declaration, the patient visited a local mall and ate at its food court, "potentially exposing the public to the virus." The person has since been returned to quarantine at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
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The declaration, which activates the city's emergency management plan, says that any previously quarantined person will not be permitted to enter the city until further notice.
According to the city's website, in times of a public health emergency, the Metro Health Director is appointed the Bexar County Health Authority and has the power to investigate suspected incidents and outbreaks of communicable diseases. Some of the control measures that can be put in place include immunization, detention, restriction, disinfection, decontamination, isolation, quarantine, disinfestations, chemoprophylaxis, preventative therapy, prevention, and education.
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The declaration will last for seven days unless renewed by the San Antonio city council.
READ THE FULL DECLARATION BELOW: