There are now three confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lubbock, as of Wednesday afternoon. One of those is a Texas Tech student whom the university "evacuated" from Europe back to Lubbock.
According to Tech President Lawrence Schovanec and the City of Lubbock, the student is one of the two cases reported Tuesday. Texas Tech arranged transportation and a place to stay for students returning from abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic. This was done so students could follow the recommended 14-day isolated period for overseas travelers.
According to the City of Lubbock's investigation, the student did not follow these directions and returned to a family home in Lubbock. The family and the student living in the home will be placed under quarantine, which legally restricts individuals from leaving the home. The health department will monitor the family members for 14 days for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
The City of Lubbock reports the student reported showing symptoms while traveling to Lubbock and while visiting the Rosa's Cafe at Fourth and Quaker. Though the risk is minimal, the health department is letting the public know when and where there was possible public exposure to the novel coronavirus: Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport from 8:45 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. on Sunday, March 15; the Rosa's Cafe at Fourth Street and Quaker Avenue from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday, March 15.
If you were at these locations around these times and develop cough, shortness of breath and/or fever through March 29, you are asked to contact the City of Lubbock health department.
As for the other case initially confirmed Tuesday, the City reports the Hockley County case involved someone who traveled to a state where there is community transmission.
The individual was seen at Grace Clinic, Covenant Emergency Department and UMC Emergency Department and the patient is currently hospitalized, according to city officials. The medical facilities will conduct their own investigation to determine any possible exposure and will make appropriate recommendations to patients and staff.
The city reports the individual did not visit any public place while traveling between home and the clinics. Close family contacts are being followed by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
As these situations develop, is it important for individuals that are sick to stay home. If you think you have been exposed to coronavirus, and are in need of medical attention, please contact the provider or hospital before you arrive. This will allow the providers to take proper precautions to reduce risk to staff and other patients.
For more information on COVID-19 visit the City of Lubbock Health Department website or by calling (806) 775-2933.
This is the letter President Schovanec sent Wednesday afternoon:
Dear Texas Tech University Community,
I am committed to providing up-to-date information to our community as this situation continues to develop and today I’m writing to let you know that one of our students who we evacuated from Europe has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), upon returning to Lubbock on Sunday evening, March 15. That student is currently in isolation, and several family members who have been in contact with the student are currently under quarantine. I must emphasize based on CDC guidance, we developed a strict protocol for transportation and accommodations for all students who were returning to the country. Despite our best efforts, one of our students has tested positive for the virus.
We have worked closely with the City of Lubbock throughout this crisis and we will have a joint press conference with city officials at 5:30, which will be streamed via Facebook Live on the City of Lubbock page, so you can learn more information. The safety and security of every student, faculty member, and employee is our top priority. We will continue to take all necessary measures to prevent the spread of this virus, and keep the members of our community safe.
Texas Tech University