SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Center for Infectious Disease is a resource not many locals know exists on the city’s South Side, and if they do, knowing what the center does might be more of a mystery.
TCID is currently home to at least five people who tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus after being brought to Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said Tuesday that more than 18 people have been transferred off base, either to TCID or local hospitals, after showing symptoms of the virus or while awaiting test results.
It's unclear exactly how many of those 18 people are now at TCID.
The primary purpose of the facility, located at 2303 Southeast Military Drive, is to treat tuberculosis patients.
According to information provided online by the Texas Department of State Health Services, TCID has been treating TB patients since 1953, providing “patient care, scientific investigation and therapeutic and educational services.”
Since 2011, the center has had 75 beds with “integrated air quality and security systems” meant to prevent the spread of infection. According to a news release sent earlier this month, 22 rooms in a separate wing of the building have been designated for Coronavirus patients.
Patients being treated for TB usually stay at the facility anywhere between three months and more than two years.
Last fiscal year, TCID treated 109 patients, and 15% of those cases were considered to be drug-resistant.
The state says the facility is equipped to accept Tuberculosis patients from outside Texas, when needed.
As of Tuesday night, there were five confirmed COVID-19 patients in San Antonio. The CDC says a sixth patient who tested positive after being quarantined at JBSA-Lackland has transferred to a medical facility out of state.