County addresses COVID-19 case; Couple had virus during SPI condo stay

At a Thursday morning press conference, Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino provided the latest information on two visitors to South Padre Island who were diagnosed with COVID-19 as a result of the coronavirus.

He said a married couple from Michigan, both 67 years of age, stayed at a condominium on the Island about Jan. 1 to March 11, but flew to Idaho and back for a wedding between Feb. 27 to March 2. Trevino said the couple came into contact with a family member in Idaho who later tested positive for COVID-19. Back on the Island, the couple began to feel ill on March 3-4, and on March 5 the husband went to a clinic in Port Isabel.

“They did not qualify at that time for testing as per (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines,” Trevino said. “He had no fever. In Idaho at that point there hadn’t been any cases. Idaho reported their first case on March 13.”

The couple self-quarantined on the Island until March 11, when they drove back to Michigan, arriving there on March 14 and testing positive for COVID-19 on March 15. Trevino said the Cameron County Health Department was first notified of the situation on March 17 and yesterday received confirmation of the couple’s test finding, immediately prompting an investigation. He said the condominium’s owner and property manager were contacted and disinfection and prevention measures implemented. Staff at the property and at the clinic have reported no symptoms, Trevino said, adding that the airport had already taken measures and no personnel have reported symptoms.

A list of other condominium tenants there during the couple’s stay has been compiled and the county is working through it, he said. Most of the people on the list have been contacted and none have reported symptoms, Trevino said. The building does not contain an elevator, which helped minimize the risk of close contact, he said. The man is recovering and the woman is in critical but stable condition in Michigan, Trevino said.

The situation underscores the importance heeding measures the county continues to implement to prevent the spread of the virus and protect life, he said.