Officials from McAllen, Hidalgo County temporarily sequester bus passengers potentially exposed to COVID-19

8 months 3 days 22 hours ago Friday, October 16 2020 Oct 16, 2020 October 16, 2020 9:42 AM October 16, 2020 in News - Local

The city of McAllen and Hidalgo County intercepted a bus — and temporarily sequestered the passengers — Wednesday amid concerns that passengers were exposed to COVID-19.

The bus apparently left Wisconsin and stopped in Effingham, Illinois, before heading to South Texas, according to a news release from Hidalgo County.

"One of the passengers had collapsed on the bus and was unresponsive during the trip, prompting the bus driver to call for medical help. The passenger later died," according to the news release. "A traveling companion later tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized. First responders at the scene reported to Illinois health officials that several other passengers on the bus had been exposed while in their presence."

The bus, though, didn't stop.

Health officials in Illinois alerted Hidalgo County about the situation on Wednesday afternoon.

Officials from the city of McAllen and Hidalgo County met the bus at the McAllen bus terminal at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and temporarily sequestered the passengers.

"Several of the passengers agreed to self-isolate. Still, Hidalgo County issued isolation orders," according to the news release. "Several asymptomatic passengers were allowed to continue their travels with the knowledge of neighboring health departments who monitored their movements."

The news release didn't specify how many passengers were onboard the bus, how many agreed to self-isolate and how many were "allowed to continue their travels" — or where they went.

Hidalgo County didn't identify the bus owner or provide any details about the bus driver's whereabouts.

“We acted quickly to isolate the passengers and assess their health,” Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said in the news release. “Hidalgo County residents should be assured that any passenger exhibiting symptoms of illness were convinced to self-isolate and we see no heightened danger to the community. Officials with the City of McAllen, as well as the state, were extremely helpful in this effort and we believe we contained any threat to residents of Hidalgo County.”

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