FORT BEND COUNTY - Fort Bend County Health and Human Services confirms the first presumptive positive test result of COVID-19, coronavirus, infection in the Houston metro area.
Officials say the individual is a man in his 70s who recently traveled abroad. He is hospitalized and in stable condition.
Fort Bend County is waiting for the man's test results to be verified by the CDC in Atlanta. Officials say a presumptive positive is actionable and will be treated like a positive.
Fort Bend ISD says they are working closely with health care officials to ensure COVID-19 doesn't spread. They will continue to hold classes at normal times.
The district says they are prepared to assist families who have concerns about health as students head into spring break.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo says she has been in contact with Fort Bend County officials and Harris County Public Health is providing technical assistance. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Harris County.
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Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner released the following statement:
“I know many Houstonians may feel anxious after learning of the presumptive positive COVID-19 Fort Bend County resident. I want to assure everyone that the city of Houston Health Department is closely monitoring the developments and collaborating with regional, state and federal health authorities.
“For the general public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 remains low. If you have not been around anyone with COVID-19 or have not visited an ongoing outbreak area, you are currently not considered to be at risk.
“While people need to remain vigilant, there is currently no need for average Houstonains to take out-of-the-ordinary protective actions. People should continue to practice routine healthy hygiene habits to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like COVID-19, such as washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth, and staying home if sick.
“I also remind Houstonians there is no need to go the emergency room unless you have a medical emergency. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your regular doctor first.”
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“While there are currently no confirmed cases in Houston, this is a rapidly evolving situation and additional cases are expected.”
Fort Bend County officials say the public can help stem coronavirus infection with the following actions:
1. Do not go to the emergency room unless essential. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your regular doctor first.
2. Practice healthy hygiene habits every day to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like COVID-19, such as:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. Remember to wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed to 11 on Wednesday with a victim succumbing in California — the nation's first reported fatality outside Washington state — as officials, schools and businesses came under pressure to respond more aggressively to the outbreak.
So far there 95,124 confirmed coronavirus infections around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.