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CDC retesting patient for coronavirus after being released from isolation in San Antonio

The patient did have contact with others while outside of isolation, health officials say

File photo
File photo

(KSAT) – An individual who was released from isolation on Saturday is being retested for the coronavirus at a local health facility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Officials say the individual met the criteria for release after testing negative for the virus twice. Both of the tests were administered more than 24 hours apart.

However, the patient later returned to isolation after a pending lab test came up positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, according to the CDC.

The patient was under isolation while being treated at the local medical facility for several weeks after returning from Wuhan, China, on a state department chartered flight, the CDC says.

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Out of caution, the CDC says the individual was brought back into isolation at a local medical facility and is getting retested.

The patient did have contact with others while outside of isolation, and health officials are working to trace others that may have been exposed.

Metro Health is working to track where the patient went, who they interacted with, the time frames they spent outside of the quarantined facility and who may have been exposed, officials say.

“This is an unfolding situation with many unknowns. CDC is making decisions on a case-by-case basis using the best available science at the time. CDC’s priority is to protect both patients and communities,” said the CDC in part, in a press release.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg says it’s unacceptable that CDC officials released the patient and allowed the public to be exposed:

“The fact that the CDC allowed the public to be exposed to a patient with a positive COVID-19 reading is unacceptable,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “We will hold the CDC accountable to providing complete transparency for the public. This situation is exactly why we have been asking for federal officials to accept the guidance of our medical community.”

Mayor Nirenberg added, “Our San Antonio Metro Health District and other local officials continue to address the situation with the utmost professionalism and care. We will do everything within our power to ensure that the community is kept safe and the exposure risk remains low. The federal quarantine period for the Diamond Princess cruise ship evacuees ends tomorrow March 2. I have asked the CDC to do everything in their power to ensure that those who are released pose no risk to the community.”

Judge Nelson Wolff also issued a statement, saying the city is in need of additional resources and protocols going forward.

“This has been our biggest concern and now we will experience the consequences of no action. Time and time again, I have raised issues concerning evacuees, inappropriate accommodations, the risk of exposure during transporting and the need for additional monitoring and extended quarantine periods. I issued a letter on February 18th relating our concerns and then a joint letter with the Mayor on February 24th. To date, no response or even acknowledgement of our concerns has been made,” said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

Judge Wolff added, “Our federal representatives, the CDC, and the US Department of Defense cannot and should not ignore us now. We are in dire need of additional resources and protocols immediately to include longer quarantine periods and the opening of appropriate facilities such as the Alabama facility or the San Antonio Military Medical Center. Please do not delay any longer and risk local transmission.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.