Texas Activates "State Medical Operations Center" to Monitor Coronavirus

 Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Photo credit Drew Anthony Smith / Stringer
By NewsRadio 1080 KRLD

DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - Texas has activated its ​State Medical Operations Center, and the Department of State Health Services is leading the response to coronavirus.

DFW Airport has also been notified to monitor for the illness among passengers arriving from China.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested a student at Texas A&M and another at Baylor for the virus, but they both tested negative.

Monday afternoon, Governor Greg Abbott said he met with the commissioners of Texas Health and Human Services and Department of State Health Services and the director of the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

"Through the coordinated efforts of our state agencies, Texas is working tirelessly to ensure every community has the resources and preventative measures needed to respond to the coronavirus. The Lone Star State will remain vigilant to protect the health and safety of all Texans," Abbott wrote in a statement.

The State Medical Operations Center is available to answer questions from local health departments and provides information from the CDC.

The Department of State Health Services says it will work with local health departments to screen patients with respiratory illnesses. The agency says doctors should ask people with breathing problems about their travel history and contact their local health department if the patient has recently traveled to China.

DSHS says travelers returning from China should call a doctor if they develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath within two weeks of leaving the province of Hubei.

CDC says 20 airports in the United States with quarantine stations will screen passengers arriving from China for coronavirus.

In Texas, Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston and DFW Airport were ordered to screen passengers.​ DFW says a team from the CDC will execute the program once it has arrived.

"DFW Airport Public Safety is trained and prepared to support the CDC and the Tarrant County Public Health Department if monitoring efforts require a coordinated response. The safety of our employees and customers is our top priority and we continue to work closely with local, state and federal public health officials," the airport wrote in a statement.