Patient in San Antonio’s second travel-related COVID-19 case at Methodist Hospital

The patient recently traveled to Japan and has a history of underlying health issues, officials say

SAN ANTONIOUPDATE: A patient at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Methodist Healthcare officials.

San Antonio Metropolitan Health District officials “recently notified” Methodist Hospital of the patient, according to a news release sent to KSAT Saturday afternoon.

A source confirmed to KSAT that the patient who tested positive at Methodist Hospital is the second travel-related case of COVID-19 that was confirmed in San Antonio hours earlier.

ORIGINAL: A second travel-related case of COVID-19 was confirmed in San Antonio on Saturday, according to local health officials.

San Antonio Metropolitan Health District officials said the patient recently traveled to Japan and has a history of underlying health issues and is currently receiving treatment. The health department is also working to trace anyone else they may have come into contact with.

“The confirmation of a second travel-related case of COVID-19 is unwelcome if not unexpected news, but highly professional health care providers are on the job treating and isolating the patient. Our prevention efforts are making a difference and will continue to do so," said Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

This brings the number of travel-related COVID-19 cases in San Antonio to two, which does not include the 11 confirmed cases among the more than 300 American evacuees who have been quarantined at JBSA-Lackland. Across Texas, there have been about 50 other confirmed cases as of Saturday.

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Officials said this COVID-19 case is not a community-spread case. In other words, the infection was not spread from a person who did not have exposure to the illness or a travel history.

Metro Health said it will be revising new COVID-19 testing protocols by making them more accessible and removing travel history requirements from the testing criteria.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff declared a public health emergency in Bexar County Friday after San Antonio city officials announced San Antonio’s first travel-related case of COVID-19. That patient recently traveled out of state and is in self-quarantine with family, officials said.

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A majority of COVID-19 cases around the world cause symptoms ranging from a mild flu to severe pneumonia, and some patients have reported little to no symptoms. But the disease can be fatal, particularly for vulnerable populations, including anyone over 60, people with underlying health conditions, and women who are pregnant or were recently pregnant. Those people should not take part in gatherings that are larger than 10 people unless absolutely necessary, officials said.

Metro Health urges anyone with the following symptoms to seek medical care:

  • Patient shows fever or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness such as cough or shortness of breath and the patient has had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19
  • Patient shows fever and signs/symptoms of a lower respiratory illness and significant respiratory illness, such as the flu, has been ruled out and the patient has risk factors that place them at a high risk of poor health outcomes or the patient is a health care worker or first responder
  • Patient shows severe acute respiratory illness such as pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome, which requires hospitalization and has a negative flu diagnosis and no source of COVID-19 exposure has been identified

Patients are urged not to go to the emergency room to seek COVID-19 testing.

After a declaring a statewide emergency on Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at least 39 people in the state have tested positive for COVID-19. Abbott said by Friday evening he expected about 300 Texans to have been tested for the new respiratory disease.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.


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About the Authors

Kolten Parker is digital executive producer at KSAT. He is an amateur triathlete, enjoys playing and watching soccer, traveling and hanging out with his wife.

Courtney Friedman anchors KSAT’s weekend evening shows and reports during the week. Her ongoing Loving in Fear series confronts Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She joined KSAT in 2014 and is proud to call the SA and South Texas community home. She came to San Antonio from KYTX CBS 19 in Tyler, where she also anchored & reported.

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