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What is Collin County's role in fighting Coronavirus?

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Update: Cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) have since been reported. For daily updates from county public heath and government offices, please visit our Health News page.

Published: February 28, 2020

COVID-19: Coronavirus Disease 2019

While there are currently no known cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Collin County, the county's Health Care Services continues to monitor the outbreak closely, and works daily with state and national health authorities on the best ways to contain the spread of the virus.

Expert advice and protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) are being followed and passed on to local health care providers, hospitals and school districts.

The county's health department has activated all its public health staff and the Collin County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) to assist in the response, and the Epidemiology and Public Health Emergency Preparedness departments are on call 24-7, and working around the clock to keep residents of Collin County safe.

Healthcare staff are actively monitoring individuals identified by state authorities or local health care providers who have recently returned from -- or have been in contact with someone who visited -- areas where the virus outbreaks have occurred. These people are required to stay home and take their temperature twice per day and report it back to public health officials.

When state authorities or local health care providers notify the county of a patient who needs monitoring for COVID-19, the health department initiates its protocol: 

  • Contact the person
  • Confirm it's not a case of Influenza A and B
  • Interview the patient for information on their recent travel history or known exposure to someone with COVID-19. 

If those criteria add up to a possible case of the virus, the county then sends the information to state health authorities for approval to submit testing for COVID-19. As of Feb. 28, less than 50 Collin county residents were being monitored by county staff. That number fluctuates as people complete the in-home monitoring period, and others are added for the 14-day quarantine.

Texas does not operate a tiered hospital system, and Collin County does not operate a county hospital district, so if patient care were needed, they would most likely be placed in a local hospital equipped to handle a patient with the virus.

County health officials urge residents to follow advice and guidelines from the CDC or DSHS websites, where the daily updated information is posted, including advice and information for travelers, businesses and healthcare providers, how the virus spreads, its symptoms, and how to protect yourself.

Currently, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 at this time, nor any medications approved to treat it, and the immediate risk of COVID-19 to the American public is believed to be low at this time.

But health officials strongly urge the community as a whole to practice illness prevention:

  • Stay home when you feel sick
  • Wash your hands often and effectively,
  • Cover a cough or sneeze with your elbow, and
  • Seek healthcare when it is medically necessary.

The county will continue its efforts and preparation for COVID-19, and the healthcare staff asks that our community do their part to help keep everyone healthy.