EDINBURG, Texas – Three cases of the coronavirus has been confirmed in Texas by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Hidalgo County Health officials are now moving to a Level 3 Bio Emergency Operation Status. They are preparing for a potential outbreak in the Valley of the novel virus after the CDC confirmed three cases and is examining a fourth one. County health officials held an emergency meeting this morning after learning another patient in Texas may have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Eddie Olivarez, Hidalgo County Health Chief Administrative Officer says, “We decided to lift our level of awareness and activity to a level three bio emergency operation center for monitoring. The reason for that is because we want to make sure that we’re able to deal with information and all the things that come in as quickly as possible but as accurate as possible.”
Olivarez says although the potential infected patient is in the Houston area and reportedly became ill after traveling from Italy, the county is ready for a possible outbreak in the Valley.
“The operation center again is to focus strictly on preparedness. We have no community spread, no cases. We’re working closely with all our hospitals, with our EMS, our first responders.”
Olivarez reiterating there is no confirmed cases of the virus, locally but those planning to travel for spring break should be extra cautious.
“China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran. If you’re traveling to those areas please be aware those are the areas we’re concerned about.”
Sharyland ISD is also taking precautions by disinfecting their buses twice a day before and after students get off the bus to prevent any illness from spreading.
Enrique Mata, Transportation Director, “We do it every morning after everyone returns to the base after the students have exited the bus and before the students get on board we do disinfect the buses as well.”
Health officials assure that although a patient tested positive for the virus at a Houston lab, the Center for Disease Control has yet to declare that a positive case.
Governor Greg Abbott announcing the state now has the ability to test for the virus and obtain results quicker. A total of six lab locations are now in place across the state including Harlingen, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio. An additional four will be equipped in coming days.