" At this time we do have three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our community."

It wasn't easy to hear, but as those in the daily Emergency Operations Center meetings will attest, every day as the first city official approached the podium, we were collectively holding our breath in uncertainty. At least, today, we know for sure.

David Gonzales our Victoria Health Department Director offers first,

" We've been planning for this for quite some time now. Planning for months and now we're putting those plans into action. This was not a surprise. We are ready for this. We do follow HIPPA privacy laws and we will abide by those laws so I know you have questions and we will answer all that we can but the three cases that have been confirmed are now isolated and we are reaching out to all of those who have been in contact with the three cases."

It's been reiterated that the Victoria Health Department is working hard to work through these cases and thankfully all three cases are in isolation in their homes and at this time doing very well.

Dr. John McNeill, our Public Health Authority offers later, " We knew eventually we would see confirmed cases and one of the cases does appear to be community transmitted. We knew the more we tested, the more we would find."

Community transmission means infections within a population that is not imported from another "virus-hit" area. 

For instance, Dr. McNeill offers, "If someone infected got off a plane  from Italy, tested positive for COVID and we've isolate them, we know where they likely got it. We've isolated them and we've contained this person at the epicenter. But if we test someone who came from home from work running

a fever and tested positive, we don't really know where it came from. They've been in the community. This is community transmission, and you can see why community transmission is a trigger for us."

Dr. McNeill assures the community that painstaking steps are being taken to work through every aspect of contact "tracing" for the three positive cases. Contact tracing is the process of identification of persons who may have come into contact with an infected person.

Dr. McNeill feels we will likely see more positive test results as more test kits become available but as David Gonzales relays later on, "We are still ahead of the game."

If you have questions, please call the Victoria COVID-19 hotline at 361.580.5796 or visit Victoriatxoem.org

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