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Southeast Texas health officials remain on alert as doctors await results of man's coronavirus test

Doctors say it takes 24-48 hours to get the test results back.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Baptist Hospital of Southeast Texas is continuing to operate normally Thursday as doctors wait to find out if a man sitting in a pressurized room at the hospital has coronavirus.

He first visited the Beaumont hospital Tuesday night exhibiting flu-like symptoms and because he recently had a layover in Beijing, China he was quarantined and tested for the virus.

Doctors say it takes 24-48 hours to get the test results back from the Centers for Disease Control.

Currently there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Beaumont or anywhere in the state of Texas.

Officials with the Beaumont Public Health Department did not get back to 12News Thursday so  we reached out to the Hardin County Health Department.

Hardin County Director of Health Sharon Whitley told 12News Thursday that all of our area health departments are prepared and on high alert.

The Hardin County Health Department is communicating with all area health departments, including Beaumont, the state and the CDC daily according to Whitley.

"We're making sure the same message is being spread, and we all work together to make sure that we're following the updates policies and procedures for testing," she said. 

She says at this point there's no reason for fear. 

"At this time, we have no confirmed cases in the state of Texas and that message was confirmed and spread during our daily calls," Whitley said. 

While we await the Beaumont patients results, Whitley says if it does come back positive, our hospitals are prepared. 

"All of the hospitals in our area they are equipped to handle a situation of this nature, we exercised that with Ebola so I'm confident that the hospitals in this area will be able to address that just like Baptist is doing currently,"  she said. 

Our regional health departments have infectious disease policies, procedures and plans. If the Beaumont patient's test does come back positive, Whitely says they'd track down anyone who came in close contact with him. 

"All of the surrounding health departments and jurisdiction we have staff that's trained to conduct those kind of investigations," she said. 

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She says the local health departments are sending out health alerts to all local providers and making sure everyone has the most up-to-date information.

“You're in good hands in Southeast Texas because like I said we exercise and we prepare. We're exercising together with the hospitals and the surrounding health departments for incidents such as this,” Whitley said.

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