SAN ANTONIO – University Health System officials say they have been inundated with calls from concerned citizens after news that a coronavirus patient was released into the community for 12 hours over the weekend.
The woman, who was under quarantine by the CDC and treated for the virus, was released after testing negative for the virus twice.
She was returned to isolation following a “weakly” positive coronavirus test result.
The woman visited North Star Mall on Saturday and checked into the Holiday Inn Express near the San Antonio International Airport.
Officials believe the risk of exposure to the public is low, but recommended a deep cleaning of both sites. The mall was closed Monday for cleaning.
On Monday, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg declared a state of emergency and public health emergency in light of the situation.
University Health System officials released the following guidelines from their medical experts Monday, for people who may be wondering if they should be tested for COVID-19:
- University Health System does not have the capability to test patients for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
- If you are feeling sick, call your primary care physician’s office.
- If you do not have a primary care physician, you may go to any urgent care or walk-in clinic in our community.
- Community physicians and other clinical providers have access to CDC protocols to determine whether or not patients qualify for testing for COVID-19.
- Local testing for COVID-19 is currently available only by sending samples to the CDC with approval by the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District and the CDC.
- People who do not have CDC-defined symptoms and exposure history will not be offered testing for COVID-19.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a hotline phone number for patients concerned about the coronavirus. The number is:1-800-232-4636. Callers will need to follow the prompts.