019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the SARS-CoV-2 (Coronavirus) outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Garland Public Health is closely monitoring this dynamic situation and working closely with regional partners, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) preparing a response that protects the public.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed multiple cases of novel coronavirus 2019 in people under federal quarantine at JBSA-Lackland in San Antonio. The first was a traveler who returned on a U.S. State Department-chartered flight from Wuhan City, China. The others returned on a State Department flight for passengers from the Diamond Princess Cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama, Japan. The individuals will remain isolated at medical facilities until they test negative for the virus and are no longer at risk of spreading it. The CDC has the latest information on the number of people under quarantine who are infected and is updating its national numbers each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
There are no other cases in Texas, and these cases do not change the risk of infection for people in San Antonio or other parts of Texas, because the patients have been under federal quarantine since their return and have not interacted with the public in Texas communities. The risk for all Texans remains low.
Residents of Garland are at low risk of becoming infected with this novel coronavirus, unless they have recently traveled to China or have come in close contact with someone who was ill who recently traveled in that area. The 2019 novel coronavirus is a new virus and shouldn’t be confused with other coronaviruses that have been around for many years causing upper respiratory symptoms, like the common cold. If a routine test ordered by your health care provider and done at a local hospital or lab, is positive for coronavirus that means that you have one of the common “seasonal” coronaviruses. The only way to test for 2019 novel coronavirus is through specialized testing at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you are unsure which kind of virus you are being tested for or what the result means, be sure to ask your health care provider. This is a rapidly changing situation.
There is no recommendation to wear masks or cancel your activities at this time. The best way to protect your health is by practicing preventive measures such has consistent handwashing and getting a flu shot to help prevent illness and symptoms similar to the novel coronavirus.
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