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Dallas County reports first presumptive positive case of coronavirus

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Posted at 4:50 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 19:53:59-04

DALLAS, TX — A 77-year-old man has Dallas County’s first presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus.

Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) said he has an extensive travel history and is being treated at a Dallas-area hospital. He was immediately identified and isolated at the hospital and appropriate personal protective equipment was worn by hospital personnel.

“Cases of COVID-19 in the 9th largest county and the 4th most populous metropolitan area in the country were not unexpected. This test result is considered a presumptive positive until it is confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). DCHHS has completed contract tracing and has directly notified anyone who was in close contact with the individual while they were in Texas,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

"While we know this case is concerning, it is not unexpected. We have been watching the numbers increase across the US and have been preparing for this event. We are working with all local, regional, and statewide health authorities to monitor the situation and update the public,” said Dallas County Health and Human Services Director, Dr. Philip Huang.

City of Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson added, “The City of Dallas has been making preparations for COVID-19 for weeks, and we are in daily communication with our partners. I remain confident in our collective ability to handle these cases.”

Judge Jenkins added, “Know that we are vigilant in our response, dedicated to your safety, and committed to getting you pertinent information in a timely and transparent matter.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends taking everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

· Stay home when you are sick, except to seek medical care
· Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and help young children to do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-base hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
· Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve, not your hands.