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Health officials: 'Low risk' of exposure to San Antonio residents from patient with positive coronavirus test

Health officials in San Antonio said Monday the patient who tested positive coronavirus after being released from quarantine posed a low risk to the public.

SAN ANTONIO — Health officials in San Antonio said Monday the patient who tested positive for coronavirus after being released from quarantine posed a low risk to the public.

This determination was made after an extensive "risk assessment" from the health officials that included a detailed look at where the patient had visited.

Health officials say the patient tested negative for the virus twice before leaving quarantine, which meets CDC guidelines for release. A third test came back positive after the patient's release.

Health officials said the person was out in the public for 12 hours, visiting North Star Mall and a hotel near the San Antonio International Airport. Based on the distance from other people and the time spent talking with other people, health officials say the people she came in contact with at the mall and hotel are at low risk of contracting the virus.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff are now calling for a third test to be conducted on all people in quarantine before they are released. 

"We simply cannot have a screw up like this from our federal partners," Mayor Nirenberg said. "As a result of this, I strongly believe that all the individuals who were scheduled to be released from the 14-day quarantine today should be retested and kept in quarantine until the results confirm that they are negative for the coronavirus." 

"We had over 235 people both from China and from the Princess. That's a big responsibility that was thrust on our community," County Judge Nelson Wolff said. "And, we think it's very important that the state handle it in a much better manner." 

Metro Health officials agreed with their call for a third test.

The group of Diamond Princess cruise ship passengers brought to San Antonio were scheduled for release Monday morning if they met the CDC guidelines. There is no word yet on whether that will be delayed.

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