By Bonnie Petrie and Brian Kirkpatrick, Texas Public Radio
The first group of people quarantined in San Antonio over the coronavirus were released Thursday after 14 days.
The 90 evacuees at Lackland Air Force Base will now be allowed to go home, wherever that is in the United States.
Dr. Anita Kurian, who directs the Communicable Disease Division of the city’s health department, explained that the patients, who were evacuated from China’s Hubei Province, “did not develop any symptoms, and now they’re considered no risk.”
A statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stressed that “[i]t is important to know that these people being released from quarantine pose no health risk to the surrounding community, or to the communities they will be returning to.”
One traveler tested positive for COVID-19 during the quarantine period last week and was transferred to Methodist Texsan hospital. Also on Thursday, the hospital announced the individual was treated and transferred to another medical facility “for ongoing evaluation.” It did not identify the facility, and it did not identify the patient.
Lackland continued a quarantine for a second group of evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked near Tokyo, Japan. They were flown from Japan to the U.S. in mid-February.
In a statement Monday following the second group’s arrival at Lackland, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said that “the risk to the general public of contracting COVID-19 continues to remain low. Every precaution has been taken to keep the public isolated from these travelers who are in a precautionary quarantine and any travelers who have shown symptoms of the virus. Our residents should continue to go about their lives.”
More information about the coronavirus disease is available at the CDC’s Novel Coronavirus 2019 website. Updates for Bexar County residents are available from Metro Health here.