The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the government agency responsible for managing disease outbreaks, released a
Texas patient from quarantine who later tested positive for COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus.
The CDC said in a statement the man was being monitored in isolation after returning from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. But after several weeks of quarantine, the CDC said "the patient was asymptomatic and met all of CDC's criteria for release — resolution of any symptoms and two consecutive sets of negative test results, collected more than 24 hours apart."
But less than 24 hours after his release into the general public of San Antonio, the man was returned to quarantine on Sunday because a pending test showed he had coronavirus.
"The discharged patient had some contact with others while out of isolation, and CDC and local public health partners are following up to trace possible exposures and notify them of their potential risk," the CDC said.
In a statement, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg (I) blasted the CDC's actions as "unacceptable" and vowed to hold the agency accountable.
"The fact that the CDC allowed the public to be exposed to a patient with a positive COVID-19 reading is unacceptable. We will hold the CDC accountable to providing complete transparency for the public. This situation is exactly why we have been asking for federal officials to accept the guidance of our medical community," Nirenberg said.
As of 10 a.m. ET Monday, the U.S. has 88 confirmed cases of coronavirus; half of those were Diamond Princess cruise ship passengers who were returned to the U.S. last month after being quarantined off the coast of Japan for several weeks.