UPDATE 3:10 p.m.:
The City of San Antonio is providing more details about the patient’s travel after being released from isolation Saturday.
Saturday, February 29, 2020
Sunday, March 1, 2020
Metro Health has recommended deep cleaning with disinfectants to both the hotel and mall management.
North Star Mall announced it will be closing for 24 hours to do a deep cleaning of the mall.
SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – An evacuee from Wuhan, China who was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in San Antonio stayed at a hotel and visited North Star Mall before a third test came back “weakly positive” for coronavirus.
The woman was out in the San Antonio community for about 12 hours before she returned to isolation.
“As mayor of this city, I find it totally unacceptable that CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) would release a patient prior to receiving all test results and potentially expose the public to this harm,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “Local health professionals in whom I have the utmost confidence are working very hard to prevent the threat of this virus in San Antonio, and we simply cannot have a screw up like this from our federal partners.”
Dr. Anita Kurian with San Antonio Metro Health says the woman took a shuttle from a Holiday Inn near the airport to the mall where she visited three stores between 5:30 and 7:30 pm Saturday. She says the woman was alone most of the time and didn’t spend a lot of time talking to cashiers or clerks.
“She was browsing,” said Kurian. “She spent very little time. There were no folks around her.”
The woman then ordered something at the food court and dined alone. They’ve asked the mall to conduct a deep cleaning and wipe all surfaces with disinfectant.
“If you visited the mall during this time, monitor yourself for signs and symptoms closely for the next 14 days. Should you come down with any symptoms, feel free to call us (San Antonio Metro Health) or your health care provider for further guidance,” said Kurian.
Symptoms include fever, coughing and shortness of breath.
Three people at a Holiday Inn near the airport were exposed, including a shuttle driver, and they are monitoring themselves. Eighteen health care workers who had contact with the patient have been identified and two of those individuals are considered “medium risk.”
“At the time of discharge from the facility, the patient was asymptomatic and met all of CDC’s criteria for release — resolution of any symptoms and two consecutive sets of negative test results, collected more than 24 hours apart,” said CDC officials. “Following the patient’s release, results of a subsequent sample were received and determined to be weakly positive.”
Out of an abundance of caution, the individual was put back into isolation at a medical facility.
More than a hundred cruise ship passengers who have been under quarantine at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland were scheduled to be released today, but Nirenberg is asking that they be tested a third time before they are let go.
“As a result of this, I strongly believe that all the individuals who were scheduled to be released from the 14-day quarantine today should be retested and kept in quarantine until the results confirm that they are negative for the coronavirus,” said Nirenberg.