Houston-area man had ‘presumptive positive’ coronavirus test

March 5, 2020 GMT

ROSENBERG, Texas (AP) — A 70-year-old man has become the first Texan to have a positive test result for the new coronavirus outside of persons repatriated from abroad under quarantine, Texas health officials announced Wednesday.

The patient is a resident of a Houston suburb in Fort Bend County who had just returned from travel abroad, according to statement issued Wednesday evening by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The statement said the test was performed at a public health lab in Houston and the “presumptive positive” results have been sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation.


“We anticipated this situation, we have protocols in place, and our state agencies and personnel are trained and ready to respond,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

At a news conference Wednesday evening, Dr. Jacquelyn Johnson Minter, Fort Bend County’s health and human services director, said the Houston Health Department, at whose laboratory the patient was tested, notified her about 4 p.m. Wednesday of the presumptive positive test result.

“As this case was associated with travel, at this time we still have no evidence of community spread” of the virus, she said.

The man has been hospitalized under isolation and was in stable condition, Minter said,

Minter declined to identify the patient, where he had traveled and at what hospital he was under treatment, but she said investigators were still in the process of tracing what human contacts the patient had.

Dr. David Persse, health authority of the Houston Health Department, said that although the positive test results were still presumptive, they were actionable.