Hidalgo County orders bus passengers to isolate after being exposed to COVID-19

Local News
Metro McAllen Transit Bus.JPG

Metro McAllen Transit Bus. (Source: CBS 4)

February 07 2021 06:00 pm

McAllen, Texas (KVEO)—Officials with Hidalgo County and the city of McAllen ordered an out-of-state bus to isolate after a passenger died and another tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

According to a news release from the office of County Judge Richard F. Cortez, a passenger of the bus had collapsed and was unresponsive during the trip.

The bus driver was able to get medical help, but the passenger later died. A traveling companion later tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized.

First responders at the scene reported to Illinois health officials that several other passengers on the bus had been exposed while in their presence.

Health officials from Illinois alerted county officials of what was happening. Officials were told the bus was headed to the city of McAllen.

County officials say they began coordinating with the state, as well as officials with the City of McAllen.

The bus arrived at the downtown McAllen bus terminal just after 6:30 p.m., according to the release. The bus was met by officials from the Health and Human Services Department, Emergency Management Division, as well as officials from the City of McAllen’s Emergency Management Department.

The passengers were temporarily sequestered on the bus until health officials could check for symptoms of COVID-19.

Several of the passengers agreed to self-isolate. However, Hidalgo County issued isolation orders. Several asymptomatic passengers were allowed to continue their travels with the knowledge of neighboring health departments who monitored their movements.

“We acted quickly to isolate the passengers and assess their health,” Judge Cortez said. “Hidalgo County residents should be assured that any passenger exhibiting symptoms of illness were convinced to self-isolate and we see no heightened danger to the community. Officials with the City of McAllen, as well as the state, were extremely helpful in this effort and we believe we contained any threat to residents of Hidalgo County.”

According to the county, the bus was traveling from an unknown city in Wisconsin. The bus stopped in Effingham, Illinois before stopping in the city of McAllen.

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