HOUSTON - So far six people have died in the United States, while several more are confirmed to have COVID-19.
While there are no confirmed cases in Houston or Harris County, frustrations are increasing statewide. On Monday afternoon, the City of San Antonio declared a health emergency.
“What the CDC did is completely unacceptable,” said Governor Greg Abbott in a press conference Monday morning.
Over the weekend, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention prematurely released a woman that had been in quarantine in San Antonio. The American woman had been visiting Wuhan, China, when the outbreak first started. For 2 weeks she had been in isolation at Lackland Air Force Base until Saturday when she was released. After her release, the woman visited a hotel and a popular San Antonio mall. Then, test results confirmed that she did, in fact, have the Coronavirus.
Coronavirus fears noticeable in Houston. The “Be Someone Bridge” was painted over the weekend, now reading “Wash Ur Hands”.
A researcher at Houston’s Rice University is now being tested for COVID 19. According to a school spokesperson, the employee was possibly exposed to the
Coronavirus while traveling overseas to a country not listed on the CDC’s non-travel list. Seventeen other people on campus are now in self-quarantine after being in contact with the university’s researcher. We’re told no undergraduate students are impacted.
“In the notice, they said it was a country not on the travel band so I don’t know what happened there,” said Paul Ryu, a student at Rice.
CERAWeek canceled its mid-March plans in Houston as a result of fears associated with the Coronavirus.
In Austin, an online petition has been created to cancel South by Southwest Music Festival. So far, more than 20-thousand-people have signed the online petition.
Officials so far say the event will go on as scheduled.
The frustration expressed in San Antonio and Austin, after the quarantine woman’s premature release. We’re told the woman visited North Start Mall for roughly 2 hours on Saturday before she tested positive for the Coronavirus. North Start Mall announced it will be temporarily closed for disinfecting.
“I find it totally unacceptable the CDC would release a patient prior to receiving all test results,” said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg.
“Every possible action that can be taken, is being undertaken to make sure that her exposure to anyone in San Antonio is minimized,” said Governor Abbott.