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Bioscience-Medicine

First Presumptive Case Of COVID-19 Announced In El Paso

A sign telling visitors at St. David’s Medical Center in Austin to alert staff if they’ve traveled to a region with cases of COVID-19 and have certain respiratory symptoms.
Julia Reihs | KUT
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A sign telling visitors at St. David’s Medical Center in Austin to alert staff if they’ve traveled to a region with cases of COVID-19 and have certain respiratory symptoms.";s:

El Paso health officials confirmed the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in the area late Friday. 

The male patient is in his 40s and recently traveled to California. He is currently recovering at home.

His test was performed at the City of El Paso Department of Public Health Laboratory. Epidemiologists there are working to identify and monitor people he came into contact with.

At an evening press conference, Dr. Hector Ocaranza encouraged the public to continue taking preventative measures like avoiding mass gatherings and carefully washing hands.

“If you’re feeling sick, please stay home,” Ocaranza said. “This is not a time to panic. This is not a time to run to the emergency room or urgent care but stay home. Most of the time you’re going to be feeling better, but if after three days you’re not feeling well, you’re feeling that you’re getting sicker, please call your medical provider.”

Earlier on Friday, both the City of El Paso and El Paso County declared states of emergency. You can find more information about school closures at the following links:

Mallory Falk is a KERA reporter for The Texas Newsroom and can be reached at mfalk@KERA.org and on Twitter at @malloryfalk.