Officials across Texas identified at least eight new cases of coronavirus in the state Tuesday. They include the first known instances in Dallas, Gregg, Montgomery and Tarrant counties — while two new Collin County patients, including a 3-year-old, contracted the virus from a family member. There was also a new, seventh case in Harris County late Tuesday.
In Dallas County, two people tested positive. The first was a “77-year old out-of-state traveler with an extensive travel history,” according to a news release. The second was a person in their 50s who “is a close contact” of the 77-year-old. County officials said they expected the second person’s coronavirus test to come back positive, but that “there is not a cause for concern.”
“These cases are not indicative of community spread,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a release late Tuesday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines “community spread” as the “occurrence of cases for which the source of infection is unknown.”
Earlier Tuesday, Montgomery County Public Health District spokesperson declined to comment to The Texas Tribune about whether the patient there — a man in his 40s — was exposed to the virus while traveling. A district release said his travel history is among details they are investigating. The spokesperson said that more details would be disclosed at a Wednesday press conference.
Montgomery officials said the man was isolated in a local hospital and risk to the public “remains low,” according to a press release.
Also on Tuesday, Collin County Judge Chris Hill announced that a Frisco man in his 30s, who on Monday tested positive for the new coronavirus, gave the disease to his wife and 3-year-old child, one of the family’s four children.
The 3-year-old in Collin County is among the youngest patients in the U.S. to have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. The World Health Organization reported late last month that children under 18 years old made up 2.4% of reported cases. The disease is especially dangerous for people who are older than 65.
The latest cases put Texas’ tally of COVID-19 confirmations at 32. Eleven of those stem from people traveling abroad who were forced by the federal government to quarantine in San Antonio’s Lackland Air Force Base, where about 100 more people arrived to be quarantined Tuesday night.
The respiratory virus was also identified for the first time in Gregg County, east of Dallas, on Tuesday morning, according to The Longview News-Journal. The Northeast Texas Public Health District reported that the patient traveled domestically, has mild symptoms and is self-quarantining at home.
On Tuesday evening, Tarrant County Public Health identified “the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in a Tarrant County resident.” The “case” — the department did not specify the person’s gender — had recently traveled to a conference in Kentucky.
“Because of the sensitive nature of this information, we are not allowed to provide specific information about the patient,” Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja said in a statement. “We are interviewing household contacts and have identified places where this person has been and are reaching out to people possibly exposed.”
Harris County’s seventh patient — the 14th for the Houston area — involves a woman in her 20s who was living abroad in Italy and tested positive after returning home and experiencing flu-like symptoms, according to a news release.
“The individual did not require hospitalization and is quarantined at home, where she is recovering,” the news release said.
Health officials have tested all six members of the Collin County family and a close friend who was in contact with them on Monday afternoon. One school-age child had an inconclusive test and is being retested. The other individuals tested negative.
According to a Collin County Health Services press release, all seven individuals are in stable condition and in self-quarantine in their own homes. Health officials also said on Tuesday that both of the family’s school-age children “were not contagious at any time while they attended school.”
“The immediate risk of transmission in Collin County remains low,” the release reads.
The Frisco man in his 30s had traveled to California, and is believed to have been exposed to the virus during his trip to the state in late February. Officials said he did not show symptoms while flying home and was not likely a risk to others on the same plane. A Frisco ISD press release on Monday morning identified him as a parent of a Tadlock Elementary School student. The school is currently on spring break and is working with county officials to contain any possible spread, the release said.
Kiah Collier contributed to this report.