Methodist Hosptial South and Atascosa County confirm the first two cases of COVID-19 in Atascosa County Sunday afternoon.
“Recently we had two patients who tested positive for COVID-19,” said Pam Guillory, Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Operation Officer Methodist Hospital South. “The patients were treated and released for home quarantine as per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. Methodist Hospital South has well-established protocols in place to care for patients with infectious diseases, and we have been working diligently to help ensure we are prepared for COVID-19.”
According to Guillory, Methodist Hospital South immediately activated protocols for handling COVID-19 cases, including isolating the patients and following precautions to ensure the safety of our patients, colleagues and visitors.
Further, Guillory stated that all facilities continue to be a safe place to receive the highest quality of care. “We have limited the number of caregivers who interact with any suspected COVID-19 patient who may seek our care and are ensuring appropriate personal protective equipment guidelines are followed for the safety of everyone,” said Guillory. “Any patient suspected of having COVID-19 is isolated and separated from other patients and visitors in the facility.”
Visitor restrictions have been instituted at Methodist Hosptial South. Effective March 21, Methodist Hosptial South, will no longer allow in-person visits to our patients at any of their hospitals. Patients are being directed to a single entrance, and are screened and any potential symptomatic patient will be properly masked and immediately isolated to protect Methodist Hospital colleagues and other patients.
“We continue to reinforce infection prevention protocols and work in partnership with the Department of State Health Services, Region 8 and the CDC,” said Guillory. “We will provide updates to our hospital and medical staff as necessary. However, due to patient privacy, no further information will be provided at this time.”
Atascosa County Judge, Robert L. Hurley issued a statement saying that he is in contact with the local medical authority for infectious diseases and are taking every necessary precaution. “Rest assured we are monitoring the local situation on a 24/7 basis” said Judge Hurley. “We are in constant contact with the CDC office and the State Health Department Service. Please follow guidelines and cautions for avoiding contact following the Governor’s order.”
“The individuals are experiencing mild symptoms and isolating at home,” stated Hurley. “The Texas Department of State Health Services is supporting Atascosa County in identifying any close contacts of the patient while sick, so they can be isolated and monitored for symptoms and quickly tested if needed.”
Atascosa County reported that it is possible that individuals who visited the following location at the dates and times may have been exposed:
• Walgreens Pharmacy, 2070 W Oaklawn Rd, Pleasanton, TX 78064 on Tuesday, March 17, 2-4 p.m. and on Friday, March 20, 2-4 p.m.
According to the Atascosa County officials, the risk of contracting the virus from these exposures is low and isolation is not required for anyone that does not have symptoms. Further, the County stated that if you believe you have been exposed, monitor yourself closely for symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath for 14 days after the exposure. If you experience any of these symptoms contact your healthcare provider.
Governor Abbott at 3 p.m. today reported that there have been six coronavirus deaths in Texas and 334 confirmed cases. The Governor stated that there are many counties that have no cases of COVID-19, so he does not believe it is appropriate at this time to issue a statewide shelter in place mandate.
The Governor has activated the Texas National Guard and plans to deploy them this week to help in the response to COVID-19 possibly to set up hospital tents and emergency testing sites. Please continue to follow Governor Abbott’s Executive Order to avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10. No dining in restaurants, bars or gyms. Drive-throughs and delivery are allowed from restaurants. No visitation at nursing homes, retirement homes or long-term care facilities unless it is to provide critical assistance. All schools to remain closed. This is not a shelter order. Domestic travel will remain unrestricted. Only ask for essential employees to report to their place of work. Encourage work from home if available. This declaration went into effect 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020.
For up to date COVID-19 information, please go to dshs.texas.gov/coronovirus. If you have questions about COVID-19 call 211.