- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a woman from quarantine in Texas who tested positive for the new coronavirus, San Antonio officials said Monday.
- The woman was among the 91 Americans evacuated from Wuhan and placed in federal, 14-day quarantine at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
- After the woman was released, she visited North Star Mall, where assistant director of communicable diseases at San Antonio Health Dr. Anita Kurian said she browsed stores and ate at the food court.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mistakenly released a woman from quarantine in Texas who tested positive for COVID-19, San Antonio officials said Monday.
The woman was among the 91 Americans evacuated from Wuhan and placed in federal, 14-day quarantine at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. The woman tested negative twice for the new coronavirusÂ and was released on Saturday, San Antonio mayor Ron Nirenberg said.Â
“Unfortunately after the person’s release, the CDC received the results of another test that showed a weakly positive confirmation of the virus that causes COVID-19,”Â Nirenberg said at a news briefing Monday.Â “As mayor of this city, I find it totally unacceptable that CDC would release a patient prior to receiving all test results and potentially expose the public to this harm.”
After the woman was released, she visited North Star Mall, where she browsed stores and ate at the food court, saidÂ assistant director of communicable diseases at San Antonio Health Dr. Anita Kurian. The woman also checked in to a hotel. Local officials are tracking 16 people from the mall and three at the hotel who they believe came into contact with the woman.
“We simply cannot have a screw-up like this from our federal partners,”Â Nirenberg said. “While the CDC is encouraging everyone to wash their hands and prevent the spread of the virus, as we would during the season, I would encourage the federal administration to not wash its hands of the responsibility to protect the public.”
There were a total of 235 people quarantined at JBSA-Lackland in San Antonio, Bexar County judge Nelson Wolff said at the news briefing on Monday. The remaining people in quarantine were evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined last month off the coast of Japan. Those evacuees were scheduled to be released on Monday, but local officials have requested that everyone be tested one more time before giving them the all clear.
“The CDC’s plan was to release those who had gotten to the end of their quarantine today,” Nirenberg said. “We need assurances from CDC that they pose no additional risk to the public. And we’re going to do everything we can within our authority to make sure no one is released until we have that assurance.”
The newsÂ comes after Washington state, New York and California officials confirmed new cases over the weekend.Â Public health officials in Seattle reported the nation’s first two deathsÂ and several new cases Saturday and Sunday, adding that 50 residents and employees of a nursing care facility were being tested for the new coronavirus after several people there tested positive for COVID-19. New York confirmed its first case of the virus on Sunday.