Dallas County Health & Human Services has reported the first and second presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Dallas County.
The first individual is a 77-year-old out of state traveler with extensive travel history.
The individual is currently being treated at a Dallas-area hospital. They were immediately identified and isolated at the hospital so staff could use personal protective equipment.
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The second individual is in their 50's and is a close contact with the first case. Health officials said since the second case is a previously identified close contact of the first case, this was expected and is not cause for concern, adding these cases are not indicative of community spread.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says the news should not come as a surprise.
“Dallas County experienced our first COVID-19 case. There will be more, and the public need not panic because we have one case,” said Jenkins.
The patient’s location is undisclosed, but Jenkins assured the public that local hospitals are safe.
“Because they are in a state-of-the-art negative pressure room, there is no risk to people who come into other parts of the healthcare facility,” he said.
We’re told the patient did not fly into North Texas but drove here. Dr. Philip Huang Director of Dallas County Health Human Services, said confirmation of the patient’s status will ultimately come from the CDC.
“It is presumptive because it was performed in our lab so then the confirmation with come from CDC,” he said.
Huang said people who may have encountered the patient have been notified.
“Contact tracing has been completed. All persons in direct contact with this person, while they’ve been in Texas, have been notified,” said Huang.
Jenkins said he’s confident that individuals who have been notified are isolating correctly.
Huang said Dallas County has increased testing capacity with the addition of commercial labs. He said the Health Department has also put in an emergency order for additional equipment.