Texas woman who spent weeks in quarantine after traveling to Wuhan was ‘mistakenly’ released only to later test POSITIVE for coronavirus having come in to contact with ‘up to a dozen’ people at a hotel

Monday, March 2, 2020
By Paul Martin

CDC said the patient, understood to be a woman, was released on Saturday
She had been held for several weeks after being evacuated from Wuhan, China
CDC said two negative tests led to her release before third ‘weakly positive’ test
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg called federal officials’ error ‘unacceptable’

2 March 2020

A Texas woman who spent weeks in quarantine after travelling to Wuhan was mistakenly released over the weekend only to later test positive for the deadly contagion.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the woman had two negative tests for the virus before being discharged from the medical facility in San Antonio on Saturday. But on Sunday a third test came back ‘weakly positive’ and she was summoned back to quarantine.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said in the interim the woman may have exposed up to a dozen people at hotel.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said it was ‘unacceptable’ that the woman had been ‘mistakenly’ released. ‘The fact that the CDC allowed the public to be exposed to a patient with a positive COVID-19 reading is unacceptable.’ Nirenberg said.

The mayor continued: ‘This incident is exactly why we have been asking for federal officials to accept the guidance of our local medical community.

‘San Antonio Metro Health 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 patient had been held at a medical facility in San Antonio for several weeks after returning from Wuhan, China, on a chartered State Department flight. The CDC said the patient had met the criteria for release and was asymptomatic.

It comes as the health officials in Washington yesterday revealed a second person had died from the coronavirus – a man in his 70s from a nursing facility near Seattle where dozens of people were sick and had been tested for the virus.

Researchers said earlier the virus may have been circulating for weeks undetected in Washington state.

In a statement, Public Health-Seattle & King County said the man died Saturday. On Friday, health officials said a man in his 50s died of coronavirus, the first death from the virus in the U.S.. Both had underlying health conditions, and both were being treated at a hospital in Kirkland, Washington, east of Seattle.

Washington state now has 12 confirmed cases.

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