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State officials intervene to block city’s quarantine order for TAMIU

It has become a back and forth between local health officials and TAMIU, shortly after the Laredo health authority announced a quarantine order would be placed on certain TAMIU’s buildings.
Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 1:11 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2020 at 10:33 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - It has become a back and forth between local health officials and TAMIU, shortly after the Laredo health authority announced a quarantine order would be placed on certain TAMIU’s buildings.

It all started during Wednesday’s media briefing, Laredo Health Authority Doctor Victor Trevino, announcing from September 3rd through the 9th two TAMIU buildings would be under quarantine.

“A quarantine order has been issued to the Texas A&M International University. The university has reported eleven positive cases. The buildings that will be quarantine will be the Active Innovation Enter and the Kinesiology Wellness and Recreation Center.”

After the announcement TAMIU President Pablo Arenaz posted a message on TAMIU’s website saying in part, “The university has not been served with a quarantine notice. The university and all buildings remain open at this time.”

According to Doctor Trevino the quarantine order was issued to TAMIU on Tuesday and further modified Wednesday.

However, the Texas Department of State Health Services stepped in.

On Wednesday evening, KGNS received a copy of an order from state agency revoking the quarantine the Laredo health authority had placed on TAMIU.

Shortly after, TAMIU released an official statement that says:

“Under the orders issued by Governor Abbott and other state law, the LHA does not have the legal power to issue quarantine orders to this university. We have explained this to the LHA on multiple occasions, but they refused to recognize the limits on their authority and issued orders that are simply unlawful. As a result, a short while ago the Texas Department of State Health Services exercised its authority to revoke the orders issued by the LHA and eliminate the confusion unnecessarily created by the LHA.”

Doctor Trevino spoke to KGNS Wednesday night saying he is surprised by TAMIU’s move since according to Trevino, he spoke to Arenaz on September 1st about a full-campus quarantine, but after further discussion it was brought down to a two-building quarantine and then a one-building Wednesday afternoon.

“The discussion was about to further modify and reduce the interruption of their operation of course we wanted to help them. As explain to Doctor Arenaz and Doctor Hector Gonzalez, their consultant, this order was based on sound medical judgment.”

Ultimately, the quarantine has been revoked.

Trevino says it is their right, but him and the city are requesting further explanation on this matter.

“What is the reason for this? It’s an unfortunate occurrence because the pandemia still exist. So we will continue to act in the best interest for the community to fight the pandemia and not each othe.r”

We also heard from the Laredo’s City Manager’s office, in a statement saying the City of Laredo stands by the proactive measures taken by Doctor Victor Trevino, the city health authority.

“The City of Laredo’s focus will remain the safety of our community. It is unfortunate the university did not agree with the health authority’s order, which was made with the sole interest in protecting the health and safety of their students, staff and community.”

Quarantine Order
Quarantine Order(KGNS)

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