Not One Patient Has Recovered from COVID-19 in Tom Green County
SAN ANGELO, TX – Officials with the City of San Angelo have confirmed Monday that no one has recovered from COVID-19 in Tom Green County.
On March 24 we reported the first case of Coronavirus in Tom Green County. It was a man in his 70s who was hospitalized at Shannon Medical Center. He was said to have traveled internationally prior to contracting COVID-19. Since then, there have been 20 more cases reported and at this point there are no deaths but also no recoveries.
"So far there has been no reported recoveries of COVID-19," said Public Information Officer for the City of San Angelo Brian Groves. "Everyone is still sick."
Using available preliminary data, the median time from onset to clinical recovery for mild cases is approximately 2 weeks and is 3-6 weeks for patients with severe or critical disease. Tomorrow will be exactly two weeks since the first case was reported.
The City of Lubbock received their first case a week prior to San Angelo. Since then they have had over 100 confirmed cases with multiple deaths. Lubbock also reported 10 recoveries.
Over at the Valley Independent Sentinel, publisher Eugene Driscoll asked the same question: Why are there no recoveries in New Haven, Conn.? Health officials there said there is no reliable data for recoveries. In New York City, Driscoll noted, a NY Times reporter and her family got sick March 7. Yet three weeks later no test was offered to insure the family members were free and clear. "We have been told there are no tests available to confirm we are negative for the virus, so have no way of knowing exactly when we are no longer contagious," reporter Dana Goldstein tweeted.
A part of the problem is the tests Shannon Medical Center and other health systems across the country were using throughout March produced what the county public health authority Dr. James Vretis called "false negatives." That is, if a test returned negative, the patient could still have the virus. Shannon told us they are working on improving the turnaround times for the tests and could begin conducting the lab work locally soon. Vretis said healthcare professionals use CT scans to determine if the lungs are clear or not. In Wuhan, China, sometimes a CT scan was the only way to confirm a COVID-19 infection, he said.
Vretis said of San Angelo's 21 COVID-19 cases, five are hospitalized. He said the current methodology for reporting someone as recovered from COVID-19 is to have the patient have two sequential tests return "negative" with at least 24 hours lapsed between the two tests.
As of April 5 at 2 p.m. there have been 633 total tests administered. Of the results 21 were positive, 430 negative, and 182 were still pending.
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