WATCH: Is San Angelo Prepared for the Coronavirus?
SAN ANGELO, TX – With the Coronavirus death toll up to nine in the U.S. and multiple patients in Texas the question has been asked; is San Angelo prepared for the Coronavirus?
As previously reported on Feb 13 the Center of Disease Control announced that COVID-19 or the Coronavirus was in the state of Texas. The CDC knew that the people were coming in after they were quarantined on a cruise ship in early February. Only one member of the group was diagnosed with the disease. Here is the original story: CDC Confirms Patient with Coronavirus in San Antonio
Nearly a month later the Texas State Health Department notified the public that on Mar. 4, 2020 the first positive test result for COVID-19 in Texas. The patient is a resident of Fort Bend County near Houston who recently returned from travel abroad and is currently isolated in the hospital. DSHS is supporting Fort Bend County in identifying any close contacts of the patient while he was sick so they can be isolated and monitored for symptoms and quickly tested, if needed.
With the COVID-19 spreading, many towns in Texas are making plans and preparations to deal with it. Big Spring held an emergency meeting with EMS services to discuss the danger and to tell the public what they are doing to combat it. Other towns throughout the states have done the same, but what about San Angelo?
San Angelo's Health Services Director, Sandra Villarreal, is heading the fight in Tom Green County. She says that they as a whole department has done multiple table top exercises to prepare for whatever virus or disease comes into the Concho Valley. "It teaches us what we would do if you have a lot of cases." said Villarreal. "We've been doing the exercises for years but now it's like ok we're doing this live."
Villarreal met with the San Angelo City Council on Tuesday and gave a brief update regarding the situation. She said the main focus for her was trying to stop the spread before it starts.
Things you can do to stop the spread of any disease:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for more than 20 seconds. If there is no soap use sanitizer but find a soap quickly after.
- Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue and then throw that tissue away.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Disinfect common areas such as doorhandles, telephones, and keyboards.
- Avoid touching your face if possible.
As of now there has been no cases of COVID-19 in San Angelo but Villarreal says that someone who has been quarantined could come into town. If they did, the Health Services Department would monitor them for 14 days to make sure they were virus free.
For more information check out the CDC website here.