The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a woman in San Antonio, Texas after previously tested negative twice, only to come back in quarantine after a subsequent test came back positive.
In a news conference, Mayor Ron Nirenberg referred to the incident a federal “screw-up” and requests to keep the Diamond Princess Cruise ship evacuees held for further testing.
Around 122 people are held in quarantine from the ship, and they are scheduled to be released by end of Monday.
Dawn Emerick, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District director requests CDC to change its protocol, specifically adding a third consecutive negative test before releasing people from quarantine.
The woman was one of the original group of evacuees from Wuhan, China to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio on a flight arranged by the State Department.
According to the mayor, she was released on Saturday from the Texas Center for Infectious Disease, while her test results were still pending.
“I find it totally unacceptable that CDC would release a patient prior to releasing all test results and potentially expose the public to this harm,” Nirenberg said.
He added, “Local health professionals, in whom I have the utmost confidence, are working very hard to prevent the spread of this virus here in San Antonio, and we simply cannot have a screw-up like this from our federal partners.”
Once released, the patient visited a hotel near the airport, and went to the North Star Mall around 5:30 to 7:30pm, where she was mostly by herself in the food court.
Meanwhile, Republican Governor Greg Abbott criticized the CDC about the CDC decision to release the patient.
“It appears to be a case of negligence with regard to how this person, who had the coronavirus, could leave TCID and go back into the general population,” Abbott said, “I think they understand the magnitude of the error they made.”