FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Fort Bend County, southwest of Houston, confirmed its first “presumptive” positive case of coronavirus Wednesday, Fort Bend Health and Human Services says.
The patient is reportedly a man in his 70s who traveled abroad and became ill after his recent return. He’s currently in stable condition in the hospital, Fort Bend County HHS said in a release.
“We are working around the clock with all local and statewide health authorities to monitor the situation and update the public,” said Fort Bend County Judge KP George in a press conference on Wednesday.
George hosted the conference, which included a panel of area health experts, including Fort Bend County HHS Director Dr. Jacquelyn Minter.
“At 4 p.m. this afternoon,” began Minter, “I was notified that a person who resides in Fort Bend County has a presumptive positive case of COVID-19. The test was performed by the Houston Health Department laboratory and is being sent to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta for confirmation.”
Minter said that if the CDC confirms the case, it will be the first positive COVID-19 case in the state of Texas from a non-repatriated person.
“While this is a serious health threat, we encourage residents to rely on reliable sources of information and remain calm,” said George in the conference.
Fort Bent County HHS also emphasized that the case is still associated with travel and there’s still no evidence of community spread of COVID-19.
“While we know this news is concerning, it is not unexpected” said Minter. “We have watched the numbers increase daily across the U.S. and it was just a matter of time before Texas announced its first case.
Fort Bend County HHS echoed much of the locally and nationally advised recommendations for preventing the spread of the disease, listing several steps that can be taken.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when sick.
- Cover the mouth and nose with the inside of the elbow when coughing or sneeze.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.